Thursday, August 7, 2008

Putting the BlogHer Dooce / The Bloggess Drama In Perspective

I attended BlogHer08. I attended the closing keynote. I was there for the so-called Dooce v. The Bloggess drama. My claim to fame. I didn't think it was much drama but it has spawned much debate and discussion in the blogosphere. So, what happened? In brief, in this blog, The Bloggess called Dooce a hobbit, and at BlogHer08, Heather aka Dooce mentioned the comment, but not the author, in her keynote address about how she reads every comment, and then Jenny stood up and said "Hey, that was me!" and said some more stuff. And it became THE DRAMATIC moment at the conference.

And I didn't really get it - although I'm not sure I would like being called a hobbit, but I probably would being a sci fi/fantasy geek anyway - because Jenny's post was actually flattering - as in Heather is similar to a being of mythical proportions because of how hugely famous she is. So I wasn't sure why Heather said anything about it, although perhaps it just happened to be the comment that she remembered while she was giving her keynote. And I also didn't get it because Heather was gracious and friendly - she wasn't doing anything more than commenting about how she does indeed read all the comments - the good, the bad, the hateful, the indifferent - so I'm not sure why Jenny said anything at all. And then I obviously didn't understand everything that was said during the keynote, so I missed something, because I didn't think it was the important moment. But it nonetheless became THE DRAMATIC moment. The moment that has been talked about long after the conference.

I read Dooce weekly - I think Heather is funny, touching and raw. And she has been a leader for all of us women bloggers - her success has made it so much easier for the rest of us. Plus, she has succeeded by being herself and succeeded hugely. And I also like Jenny's The Bloggess. To be frank, her blogs are so f-ing funny that I usually end up laughing so hard I snort, and sometimes even tinkle a little. Yes, having given birth vaginally, that happens, despite being a Olympic Kegel-er. In other words, I admire both of them and like their blogs - don't send my hate mail or think I'm being critical - this is just a comment on how stuff gets blown out of proportion.

But, in any event, I was reading the twitter happenings today, and a fellow twitter that I follow, twittered "Who is Heather? What drama?" And then a bit later, the same twitterer - "Heather, she has ten trillion followers - has she been twittering since birth?" And my point - the drama doesn't really mean all that much.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Be Nice to Me or I'll Blog About You and the Curse of Hairy Man Boobs

I haven't written a post for awhile - mostly because I was busy with BlogHer'08. I'll do a blog about that in a bit - I just am still intimidated by the amazing women I met and the depth and wittiness of their blogs.

BlogHer'08 came with lots of swag (or schwag - not sure which one is right). I love the t-shirt from CafePress. The slogan - Be Nice to Me or I'll Blog about You. It seems to sum up the relationship between my husband and me right now. He's a little concerned that our late night chats - the only time we really get to talk with two kids - are just fodder for the blog. That without the chats, I'd have nothing to write about. As if motherhood didn't get you enough fodder for a blog.

Our last conservation was ended with the admonition "you better not blog about this." What was our scincillitating conservation about? How men just don't have all the bad things happen to their bodies that women do as they age. I suppose some men worry about losing their hair as they age - but even that is sexy in some circles. Pot bellies? Perhaps not the most attractive thing, but certainly not a cause of worry for most men. My husband just laughs off the hair growing in his ears or the fact that he farts and pees and the same time - just like the stereotype of an old man.

Women, however, face saggy boobs, flabby tummies (esp. post childbirth), grey hairs, etc. Our culture seems to write women off after 40, even when they look as good as Goldie Hawn, Demi Moore, or Kelly Preston. And the joys of carrying a baby and delivering vaginally? Leaves you with hemorrhoids, stretch marks and the glorious experience of peeing when you laugh or sneeze.

Except I found one thing that men do not want. Hairy man boobs. And just to clarify - I don't mean a man with a hairy chest - I mean an overweight man that has "boobs" that are hairy. Soft, pasty, doughy MAN BOOBS. My husband told me I COULD NOT blog about hairy man boobs because then everybody would think that he has hairy man boobs. And, that seems to be the one thing men do not want, as confirmed Mike Adamick in Strollerderby where Hairy Man Boobs do not seem to be the new black. So, since he isn't being nice to me . . . .okay, so he doesn't have hairy man boobs. Really.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

I can't contain myself - whoo-hoo BlogHer

I just can't wait for BlogHer '08. Really can't wait. Like I'm a 6 year old and it is 10 days before Christmas. I feel like I'm going to explode. I just signed up for a Beauty Makeover sponsored by Macy's. Can't wait for the community. Can't wait to meet fellow bloggers. Can't wait to sleep in a bed by myself. For an entire night. Can't wait to be in the heart of SF shopping.


Saturday, June 21, 2008

My husband would rather sit on the curb then attend the village that is BlogHer '08

My husband informed me while we were in bed, as I was falling into an exhausted slumber, that he is going to Boston. When is he going? At the exact same time I'm supposed to go to BlogHer '08, and he was supposed to watch the kids. Of course he forgot - his social secretary function never works.

The reason I'm telling you this is because it resulted in a discussion about what BlogHer '08 is, and he found out it is mostly women bloggers. And, that led to me telling him a story about talking to a senior partner at my firm about blogging. Both my husband and the senior partner don't really know what blogging is or that there is an extensive blogosphere, and dismiss it as a fad. I attempted to tell my husband a funny story about talking with the senior partner about tweeting, but my husband interrupted me:

"Just tell me the reader's digest version. It's 11 o'clock."

"But it isn't as funny if I condense it. And your the one that started this conversation this late."

"Reader's digest version."

So, I obliged him. Which wasn't funny. 3 sentences instead of several paragraphs. And then I had an epiphany.

"You and [senior partner] aren't interested in blogging because you want the reader's digest version of life. No emotional bonding and sharing." And I think that is it. Or at least a part of it. I like the community. I think mommy blogging is such a hit because we all want help, or at least to feel like we are not alone. I like knowing I'm not the only one having certain problems or thoughts. It takes a village to raise a child - and this is our village. So I shared this thought with my husband. And then, back to our conversation about the logistics of him going to Boston and the children. And, I asked him if wanted to go to the BlogHer '08 on Saturday if he was flying in late Friday night. My emotionally-stunted husband's reply?

"Attend a conference with a thousand women bloggers talking about blogging? I'd rather sit on the curb in front of the hotel the entire day."

And he has no idea with tweeting is.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Smack Talking Wii Fit 'Bot Sucks!

The Wii Fit 'bot sucks. For those of you not obsessed with Wii Fit, the 'bot weighs you and measures your BMI, and then keeps track of your fitness progress. You are suppose to check the progress of your weight and BMI every so often, which I did last night.

And the Wii Fit 'bot told me I had gained 1.7 pounds, which was NOT my goal. I'm trying to lose weight, not gain it.

But I knew I had gained weight. I always do when it is that time of the month. But I didn't really think about it when I did my body fitness test on the stupid Wii Fit.

So, after telling me I had gained weight, the f-ing Wii Fit 'bot asked me if I knew why I had gained weight. And gave me several helpful reasons from which to choose. But, I'm guessing having been programmed by young boys in their 20's not particularly concerned about the emotional health of us post-children women, there wasn't a response provided for "that time of the month" or "the curse" or "I'm having my period!" So, I picked "I don't know" as my reason - that being the closest thing to I've gained some weight because I'm having my period.

The Wii Fit 'bot's response: "You mean you really don't know why you've gained weight."

Yes, I know, but you don't, you stupid thing, because some pimple-faced, skinny geek boy programmed your stupid responses, and he obviously wasn't thinking about ALL of the reasons you can gain weight. Obviously, the stupid thing was programmed by a not particularly sensitive individual, because the Miis get fat if you are fat. Like I needed that!

Am I supposed to take smack from the 'bot?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

I love Wii Fit!

My husband got a Wii for Father's Day. Actually, although it was for Father's Day, he got it two weeks ago or so because my darling, curious son (ha!) found it in the back of the minivan, and had to show his dad. So, my husband got his present early. I tracked down the Wii Fit after pestering several Game Stops daily until I managed to call right when a delivery had arrived.

And I LOVE it. I don't love that the stupid 'bot told me I'm fat. Hey, I already knew that - that is why I bought the stupid game. And why exactly did the stupid 'bot have to make my Mii fat? (Okay, and if you really don't want anybody to know your weight or BMI, you can lock your weight and other statistics with a PIN - which I did.) But I really like the yoga, the hula hoop, the step and a bunch of other stuff. I've worked out more in the last several days than I have in years (unless giving birth counts . . . it should, don't you think?) So if you were on the fence about buying it, I encourage you to get it.

And did you know you could make the eyebrows into horns by twisting them around?

Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Hottie and the Nottie

We just finished watching in about 15 minutes what has to be the lowest grossing movie in history - Paris Hilton's The Hottie and The Nottie. We spent our Saturday night - well, at least part of it, watching the movie.

Why were we watching this movie on a Saturday night? Our home is one of the homes in the picture. I'm not actually sure whose house it is - I think it is the good looking boyfriend's home. We didn't actually watch much of the picture - it is pretty awful. We just fast forwarded to the scenes shot in our house. But I can say that our home is in the lowest grossing movie in history - our claim to fame. Whoo-hoo!

And, just a note, Paris Hilton was very nice. I didn't expect her to be. But she was. Very nice, polite and gracious.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Princess Ponies Pee Standing Up

Today my daughter went to the bathroom by herself, washed her hands and put on clean underwear. Without any help whatsoever. Because, as she puts it, she is a "grownup princess."

Which is much better than a year ago when we started potty traing. At 2, my daughter was a pony. Not a girl. A pony. If you said anything to her that contained the word "girl" you would get a cross correction.

"C'mon little girl, let's go."

Very crossly, with a pursed little lip and frowning eyebrows, "I'm not a little girl. I'm a pony." And if you pushed the issue, which my mother tended to do, you would get it louder, with emphasis. "I'M (pause) A (pause) PONY!!!"

All she wanted was to BE a pony. "What do you want to be when you grow up?"

"A pony. A PINK pony."

So, when we started potty training, my darling, ever so helpful son informed my pony that ponies pee standing up. I didn't know that he had done this, but learned soon after. He had watched a Animal Planet show with my husband, and, of course, the horses peed standing up. And my son told me daughter that if she was, in fact, a pony, then she would have to pee standing up.

So, the next time in the bathroom, my daughter, after pulling off her leggings, stood straddling the portable child's potty.

"What are you doing?" I'm thinking that she is a little confused after watching her brother pee standing up.

"I'm peeing."

"Why are you standing up?"

"Ponies pee standing up. Cole said." (At this point, I'm a little grateful that my son didn't tell her to poop standing up.)

Trying to manage the situation without scarring her emotionally and screwing up potty training, while at the same time needing to properly train my daughter before daycare thinks that I'm completely nuts, I cleverly say, "Well ponies pee outside. Should we go outside?" This is a good response, since my daughter is a bit more private than my son. My son LOVES to pee outside.

With her tiny pursed little, and a very cross expression, I get her explanation. "Mama, princess ponies do NOT pee outside."

Thursday, June 5, 2008

How do I get personal time? Bribery. Husband (sex) and Kids (Wii)

Tonight I attended a fabulous mommy networking event. The setting was lovely, the women were great, the food was delicious, etc. The topic was about finding balance in your life as a mom. And there was a really good discussion about finding balance and how we all juggle all of the demands. And, basically, it came down to the fact that none of us do it very well, and most of us feel guilty about short changing something at one point or the other.

But at one point we strayed into the topic of asking your partner to help out more so that you can have some personal time and how to do that. And all of these women spoke up and gave thoughtful, intelligent, adult answers. About communicating. About trading time. About compromising and working together.

Not me. I'm much more basic. I use bribery. My womanly wiles. My husband is easy - I just bribe him with sex. Our children still take naps. At least most of the time. So, on the weekends, when they are napping, I lure my husband into the bedroom. It doesn't take much - just a "Hey, want to have sex?" That's it, then he usually naps too. Which gives me some quiet time to do some chores or whatever. But the trick is, after everybody wakes up, I can then use the fact that we had sex and he got a nap to get my free time, whether it is a walk by myself or a shopping trip or whatever. It works like a charm.

And I really didn't want to admit that I bribe my kids too. 15 minutes to free time to myself? Just put on a My Little Pony DVD for my daughter on the portable DVD and let my son play the Wii and I'm set for 15 minutes.

Monday, June 2, 2008

My daughter thinks I'm a princess too

My daughter loves pink, purple, princesses and ponies. In that order. But she insists that she is a princess, not a girl - which I have to say is better than insisting she is a pony, like she used to do. She has even convinced her friends and the teachers at daycare to call her "Cinderella." But, let's be quite clear, not Cinderella when she was cleaning, but Cinderella in her fancy dress.

Today my daughter brought her pink robed Giselle doll to school. Her teacher asked about her doll. My daughter looked sternly at her teacher, as only a 3 year old can do, and said, quite clearly, "It isn't a doll. It is a princess."

And the teacher replied, "Well, it is a pretty princess in a pink dress."

To which my darling daughter responded, "My mommy is a pretty princess too - she's just not wearing her dress."

Sometimes, you just gotta love them!

Saturday, May 31, 2008

I am a bitter woman, hear me roar

I am a bitter woman. My husband left early this afternoon for Las Vegas. For 6 days. No, he is not going just for fun - it is for work. But I am still bitter. I am left alone for 6 days with 2 kids, a cat and a guinea pig. And work at home and work at work. You know, before having children, I didn't think much about the difficulties faced by single parents. After having children, I am truly amazed. I don't know how single parents manage. And stay sane.

But more about my bitterness. Tomorrow is my son's end of the season t-ball party. It is a pool party. I'm responsible for a dessert and beer. Which is also making me bitter because I'm trying to show up the other moms by making homemade baseball-themed chocolate lollipops and it is taking longer than I wanted. I'm not supposed to admit that making the lollipops is an exercise in proving I'm a good mommy, am I? Yes, my name is Jennifer and I'm trying to prove I am a supermom (although I know that I fail miserably most of the time).

I am also responsible for keeping my children safe - but I absolutely dread putting on a swimsuit. I didn't even own one until yesterday. I have yet to lose the "baby weight." Can it still be called baby weight when your youngest child is 3? How long can you call it baby weight - does it still work when they are in college?

So, how am I going to manage a pool party with 2 children who are going to want to go in the pool without putting on a swimsuit? Can I bring the Wii we bought for my husband for Father's Day (that my son gave him weeks early because he wanted to play)? I suppose that would show that (1) I am a bad mommy and not only do I let him play, but I am encourage him to play instead of going in the pool just so I don't have to face my fear and put on a swimsuit; and (2) that I'm a bad guest. So much for faking the supermom crap.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Bad Mommy Moments & Mommy Confessions

One of my favorite bloggers, Michelle over at Mommy Confessions has confessed to recently reaching a breaking point when one of her kids, fondly known as the demon seed, tagged 4 rooms in her home with black pencil. Not the end of the world - yes, Michelle, Mr. Clean Magic Eraser (or the Target knock off if you are saving money) will quickly remove those marks. Granted, those nifty magic erasers may not be the "greenest" or least toxic item you can buy, but it will save the demon seed.

Michelle invites all other moms to post their bad mommy moment confessions. I'll be guest blogging my deepest, darkest bad mommy moment as soon as I can figure out which of the many most shames me. Or perhaps most needs confessing. Are you on the edge of your seat?

On the flip side, the kids truly have to be horrible to get me to a breaking point. I'm a pretty easy going mom. Want proof? Here are my children after painting Valentine's Day cards for their dad . . . in my breakfast room . . . we had a good time and that is paint, not mud (non toxic paint):

Please don't try this at home!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Bad Mommy Moment #1,323

Today is Memorial Day. And before I write anything else I just want to honor those that have given their service and their lives for the freedoms we enjoy.

My children played outside most of today. It has rained off and on the past two days, but today was sunny, if a little cold. Again, the weather has been extremely odd for Los Angeles. In any event, both my children were playing outside with water balloons and buckets. And, I am a bad mommy. It wasn't until they were outside for quite a bit that I realized that they didn't have sunblock on. It wasn't entirely my fault - my husband set them up outside so I sort of assumed that he had taken care of it.

Of course, I shouldn't have assumed. He never really remembers about sunblock.

So, now they both have burns. And I just feel horribly guilty. I'm fair skinned, so I know the importance of sunscreen. Yet, I let my kids get sunburns. Aarghh . . . . bad mommy moment number 1,323. I'm sure there are many more to come.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Chuck E. Cheese, Potty Adventures and Going Commando

My husband needed to work on his PhD today. He is on the 15 year plan right now. Or more. I stopped keeping track about 10 years ago. In any event, he needed about 6 hours of time to work, without interruption, so I volunteered to take the kids out. And I just want to point out that I never get that luxury, because even when I'm supposed to have no interruptions when working at home, he still interrupts me every 10 minutes or so with questions - where are Princess' socks? what should I give them for lunch? do you really let the guinea pig run around on the grass? etc.

A fellow mom friend who was also abandoned by her husband today (who needed to work too) and I decided to brave Chuck E. Cheese with our 4 kids (2 each - we each have a boy and a girl - the girls are 3 and the boys are 5). I convince her it will be okay. That perhaps we'll have fun - at least we could, if we drank enough beer.

And it mostly was. (And we didn't drink any beer.) Although it was cold and drizzling here on and off (rare in Los Angeles in May), Chuck E. Cheese wasn't crowded. The kids had a great time. My pony-crazy daughter rode the horse (it is a horse that moves with a screen in front showing a race track) for about an hour without being interrupted. My son and his friend played basketball, skeetball and an alien shoot-em-up game for about 2 hours. We had a few interventions along the way. Then, my son runs up to me, visibly upset:

"Mama, I went pee in my pants."

Usually, this wouldn't be much of a problem because I am known for having extra clothing, a first aid kit, a fire extinguisher, spare change, blankets, towels, stuffed animals, DVDs, assorted tools, and a small army hidden in my minivan. But not today. The day before, my husband forced me to clean out my car because he wanted to vacuum up some kitty litter that had spilled all over my car (from a box purchased at Target - not used kitty litter). For some reason, he thought it ws toxic, although I only buy the kitty litter made from wheat. So it isn't toxic.

In any event, I didn't get the assortment of items back into the car. So I had nothing.

"Well, do you still need to go potty?" So, off we went running to address the need. And I discover that my son's pants are wet, not just slightly damp, and he needs a change. Super mom that I am, I realize that there is a used children's clothes shop in the same strip mall, so we head over to purchase new clothing while my friend watches the remaining 3 kids. However, the shop only has nice boy pants in a 6, and no underwear. We make do - I tell my son he can go commando. He looks a me strangely, but agrees. I roll the pant waistband.

After maxing out on Chuck E. Cheese, we decide to go see Prince Caspian. Which is fine and goes well, except I make 2 potty trips with my son and 1 with my daughter. And each time I go, I ask each kid whether a potty trip is needed, but they are completely unable to coordinate bathroom trips. So I'm not sure what happened in parts of the movie. With 3 potty trips for me and 2 for my friend, I think the people at the end of the aisle were a little annoyed.

On the way out of the theater, my friend and I both ask whether anybody has to use the potty. Of course, no one takes us up on this offer, being much more intrigued with the video games.

We head towards the car, and then my friend's son pipes up that he has to go. Number 2. Right now. So she ducks in to the nearest store. I wait with other three outside, where they are mock fighting with straw swords. My friend comes out and he son is wearing her sweatshirt tied around his waist, and nothing else.

"What happened?"

"The bathroom was being used and he didn't make it. After all that junk food, he had a blow out. Standing in line to use the bathroom. So I just threw out it all out and wrapped the sweatshirt around his waist."

"He got his shoes?"

She just looked at me wearily.

Okay, so now both my son and his friend are commando. Not the best day for potty runs. So, we continue to head to the car, through the rest of the outdoor mall. The darling children pretend that they are centaurs from Prince Caspian. And my son's too big pants fall down to his knees, displaying one bare tushie to all, while his friend loses his sweatshirt entirely and displays everything. And the two of them think that it is awfully funny, so we had a heck of a time rounding them up. And hustling them to the car.

At home, I ask my husband whether he got his work done. He says that he did. And that he had time to sit in the soft sided jacuzzi and take a nap.

And he asks, "So, did you have fun?" Am I allowed to hit him?

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Shopping with 1 husband and 2 kids = HELL

The family went shopping today. Yes, we stupidly went shopping on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. Not my idea. My husband (aka Smug Dad) (and better known to me as PITA - pain in the a$$) bought a new computer, so he wanted to move his old computer to the family room. And that, of course, necessitated buying a desk for the old computer to put in the family room. Which meant that we had to go shopping.

My husband, of course, cannot go shopping by himself. Even with specific instructions. I think he does it just to prove that he can't go shopping, but he always comes back with the WRONG THING, and then a whole bunch of something else we don't need. Send him to the store to get toilet paper, and he'll forget the toilet paper (despite a written list) and come back with 2 pounds of strawberries and 4 tubes of toothpaste. I truly do not know what goes on in his mind.

"Where's the toilet paper?"

"Oh. I forgot."

"That's what you were supposed to get."

"I got toothpaste. And some strawberries for the kids." He says this proudly. As if I should give him a gold star. And I'm trying to hunt down some baby wipes or something else I can use so I can just go to the bathroom.

So, back to the story, I mean who goes shopping with the ENTIRE family on Memorial Day weekend? Especially with a husband that HATES TO SHOP (unless it is for tools). Not my idea of a good time. And we weren't doing any light shopping - we tackled Ikea. 1 cranky mom, 1 smug dad, 1 Karate-crazed 5 year old boy and 1 Princess. In Ikea.

We head up the 2 story outdoor escalator.

"Mama, has anybody fallen off?" asks son. I don't know. I'm trying not to think about it as my son leans precariously over the rail to see just how far down it is.

We wind our way through IKEA to the office section. My daughter and son devise a new game that involves scooting around on the chairs with wheels while I try desperately to round them up into some semblance of polite behavior. Another mom smiles knowingly at me.

"I have to go potty," says the Princess. One bathroom trip down. Meet up with PITA and son. They have picked out the desk, but have not written down where it is located in the self serve section of IKEA. Back to the office section to figure out what aisle and bin selected desk is in. Find it, get in line, another potty trip, this time with son.

We go to lunch at Charo Chicken. I get 2 potty trips with Princess and 1 potty trip with son. I don't know why I always get the bathroom trips in public. But I do. When we are cleaning up, PITA says he has to go the bathroom and I sweetly ask if he needs an escort too. I get an eye roll.

Then we head to the mall portion to get son new clothing and Princess new underwear. The mall has a play area, so PITA and my adorable children head to play while I tackle Old Navy. Old Navy has shorts for my son, but does not have pink underwear for the Princess. The Princess will only wear pink or ponies. That is all. So, I go next door to The Children's Place. Which does not have underwear, but has plain white bike shorts that I get for under dresses. But, the sales associate ringing up customers is extremely SLOW. And that is an understatement. How hard can it be to ring up customers? Pretty hard when you obviously can't do simple math and rely on the computer to do all the work. Apparently, if you type in the wrong amount of cash you received from the customer and the customer tries to give you back the extra money you gave in change, it must be the customer that is wrong, not you & the computer. Let's see - it was $18.32 and I gave you $20.32, but since you typed in $200.32, I should get back $182 isntead of $2? I like the math, but . . .

Escape the store and head over to children and PITA. "Where were you? Did you go window shopping? What took so long?"

Hmm, yeah. That's what I was doing. I went strolling and window shopping. And then I got my nails done. Which, if you know me, I never do. Actually, what I was doing was contemplating how far I could get with that $182 before I got dragged back to my life.

My husband: "You know, it was getting a little hectic here. The kids were just running around screaming, and it is sure loud with all these kids. I think I need a nap."

I should have taken that $182 and run.