Wednesday

The Micro-mom-ager



Thanks to Overworked Supermom for posting this clip on her Facebook page.  What a riot! Special thanks to Baby Blues for these hilarious parenting cartoons.






The usual disclaimer of sorts...this is just meant to be silly, funny, & lighthearted.  Everyone parents differently. I totally get there are reasons for needing to be the sole caretaker/micromomager out of necessity. I also get there are many moms who don't necessarily have to be in total control and are missing out on some really great help from their husbands because they just can't let go a little.  There are so many great fathers out there  - luckily - I am married to one of them who not only has a great sense of humor, but has the patience of a saint. I could not function without his help - and these boys adore him, look up to him, and know that they can count on him, too. All of that being said - let's go have  a laugh.  xo



Ok.  I'll admit it.  With Eldest, I was known to Micromomage quite a bit. 

You're holding him wrong.  He doesn't like that.
Don't - arrgh - no - watch - his head - his HEAD!
We can ONLY use $40/bottle Uber-Sensitive Baby Wash!
He JUST ate - stop bouncing him he's gonna spit upppp ...I TOLD YOU.
That onesie doesn't even match his outfit - what are you BLIND?
NO NO NO! You don't give a little one steak until he's at least 4 and has a full set of teeth!
He can't sleep in our bed - we'll smother him!
I make my own organic baby food for a reason - he only gets one shot at a healthy start!
He's too little for Cheerios..he'll choke!  We'll be safe and wait until he's 3!

Then Middler came along - - - 7 years later.

It started again.  Only this time - it wasn't AS bad.
Now the one liners were more like.

I don't remember!  I have some kind of amnesia!
Where's Eldest? Just take care of him would you?
$40/bottle Baby wash? No way! Baby Aveeno will do just fine!
No - you are not giving him a bath - he only wants ME or he'll throw a fit and cry for hours!
How could technology change so much in 7 years?
Just bring him in bed with us already!
That doesn't look right to me.
I don't remember much - but you are definitely doing that wrong.
Go to the store and buy a 24 pack of Organic Baby Food - I don't have time to Puree all damn day!
JUST GIVE HIM TO ME.  He needs someone who knows what they're doing!
He's 2 - cut his steak up really fine - he'll be ok - he has teeth, right?
Give him a bowl of Cheerios - there's a hole in them for a reason - it helps them to not choke.  (faulty reasoning - and don't take this advice - this is a just a silly blog!)

Then I had Youngest just 13 months later and most micromomaging went out the door.

Oh, I don't care - just use the Men's Bodywash on him - I forgot to get babywash! (Oh stop it, I'm kidding....don't use soap at all...babies aren't dirty!)  <--kidding again, calm down people!
Just take one of them from me and do something..play with them..nap with them..anything - please - I only have 2 arms for goodness sake!   If I had 8 arms I would do it myself!
No he doesn't need a onesie - that's just more laundry for me!
Feed him yourself...give him a TBONE - give him something! (kidding, kidding!)
Bring them all in bed with us - just let me sleep!
Give him some babyfood - whatever you find at the store just buy it!
He can almost hold a spoon - give him a bowl of Cheerios and milk!
Help...anywhere...anything...just help me.



See, when you give up some control, you can actually get some sleep!

I can't help but laugh when I'm around new parents.  (I have earned my right to giggle after 12 years of parenting - and I will admit this - the one thing I know after 12 years is that I KNOW NOTHING and I DO NOT GIVE ADVICE! That being said...)  After nearly 40 weeks of bonding between mother and baby, it is only natural for mom to feel like she has to do everything.  That's understandable.  But the sooner you learn to lean on Dad for stuff, the better.  I totally understand the need for control, but moms need help - so the sooner you ask for help the better.  You can gently nudge and guide on how things should be done or how baby likes something a certain way - just communicate.  The older the wee ones get, the easier it is to relinquish control over everything.  Those first days/months/years are tough - those babies are so needy and so particular, but they'll be ok as long as someone loves them, cares for them,  and pays attention to what they're doing! That's all the advice I am going to just barely give.

Now that the boys are getting older, I can't help but still micromomage when it comes to clothes.  If Hubs picks out their clothes on that particular day, it is blatantly obvious.  I don't know why it is so hard to pick out outfits that match.  Maybe it's because I don't have any little girls that I so desperately want my boys to look nice...maybe it's because I am a bit of a fashionista myself and I feel like it's a hobby of mine - or perhaps it is because Hubs feels like the fact that they are dressed is good enough - I don't know.  Regardless, it's the one thing I can't seem to let go of.


See why I love this cartoon?  I could've written this but I have zero drawing skills!

I know this for sure.  Being a Micromomager is EXHAUSTING.  You want something done right, you do it yourself - but be prepared to have a lot more on your plate than most people can manage.  Take for example when you get sick and have to stay in bed for a day (you cannot afford to be sick for more than a day or the household may collapse..but that's another blog for another day).  You physically cannot keep up and must stay in bed. If you've controlled everything up until now, how is Hubby going to manage? Here are the important things to consider when it comes to the kids and letting go control to the Hubs.  There are 3 important factors going through Hub's mind:  Are they fed?  Are they (somewhat )clean?  Are they content?   That's it.  If they destroy every room in the house, including the kitchen - that doesn't get factored in to the equation - just the fact that their basic needs are being met.  When you finally feel well enough to come downstairs from your Nyquil induced slumber, you will most likely be met by happy children and a very messy house.  It happens.


There are things you can get worked up over that are worth getting worked up over - things like safety, good decisions, hygiene, etc.  Then there are things not worth getting worked up over.  You've got to weigh it all out in your head and think before you micromomage.  The more you let go of control, the more help you are going to get.  Encourage, empower, empathize.  All good words to keep in mind.  Being a parent is a learning process and it takes patience, love and effort on both parts to get to a happy place.  It is so rewarding when you know you have a good partner to go through it with.  (Maybe the fact that I was divorced when Eldest was merely 8 months old, showed me how very hard it is when you have no one to help, and made me appreciate someone who was there to support and love me through the parenting journey the second time around).


More Baby Blues cartoons - one of my absolute faves.  http://babyblues.com/

Aren't we all just doing the best we can?
Until next time...go easy on yourselves (and your Hubbys) would ya? The world is hard enough as it is.  We could all use a little help.
Cheers and Love,
~DG



Friday

Man Cannot Live on One Movie Alone...


Look at her on this desert island - she looks like she's eating well!

So yesterday I asked a question on my Facebook page...


DID YOU KNOW  Kevin Costner turned down the role of Andy Dufresne, a decision he strongly regretted later on. Ya think?  (IMDB)

2.  Better Off Dead:  John Cusack is a heartmelter in this one.  Who of us DIDN'T want to be his girlfriend after watching this?!! 




Lane Myer: Johnny...
Johnny: Four weeks, twenty papers, that's two dollars. Plus tip.
Lane Myer: Gee Johnny, I don't have a dime.
Johnny: Didn't ask for a dime. Two dollars.
Lane Myer: Well... it's funny see... my mom, had to leave early to take my brother to school and my dad to work cuz...
Johnny: ...two dollars... cash.
Lane Myer: See... the problem here is that... my little brother, this morning, got his arm caught in the microwave, and uh... my grandmother dropped acid and she freaked out, and hijacked a school bus full of... penguins, so it's kind of a family crisis... so come back later? Great.

DID YOU KNOW...According to Savage Steve Holland (writer/director), the film is mostly autobiographical. Holland really was suicidal when his high school girlfriend left him for captain of the ski team. Also, he really did have a paperboy named Johnny Gasparini who would harass him for two dollars. According to Holland, when the film came out, the ex-girlfriend contacted him to apologize. (IMDB)  I bet she did.

3.  The Princess Bride:   INCONCEIVABLE!  There is so much to love about this movie.  Cute little Fred Savage...the beautiful Robin Wright...the hilarious one liners that are repeated over and over again.  I am so happy to know that this made it to the Top 3.  Directed by the hilarious Rob Reiner and starring the very handsome Cary Elwes (Wesley).



DID YOU KNOW According to author William Goldman, when he was first trying to get the movie made in the 1970s, a then-unknown Arnold Schwarzenegger wanted to play Fezzik, and he was strongly being considered because Goldman could never get his first choice, Andre the Giant, to read for the role. By the time the movie was made about 12 years later, Arnold was such a big star they could not afford him, Andre was cast after all and the two big men had gone on to become friends. (IMDB)

4.  Dirty Dancing -   Nobody puts Dirty Dancing in anything but the top 5 favorite movies!  Patrick Swayze (RIP) is sheer hotness in every aspect of this film.  Jennifer Grey's laugh is contagious and the music is unstoppable.


DID YOU KNOW   In the scene where Johnny and Baby are practicing dancing, and she keeps laughing when he runs his arm down hers, it was not part of the scene, she was actually laughing and his frustration was genuine. They left it because it was effective. Her falling over in this scene was unplanned too. (IMDB) 

5.  The Notebook:  This is no surprise is it?  This gut wrenching - tale as old as time - of different social classes falling in love is one we can watch over and over again.  We not only adore the handsome Ryan Gosling but Rachel McAdams is so darn cute that we love her too.  Allie's memory loss is heartbreaking and Noah's undying love is even more so.



DID YOU KNOW  Ryan Gosling  prepared for his role by living in Charleston, South Carolina before filming began. For two months, he rowed the Ashley River in the morning and built furniture during the day.
He built the kitchen table featured in the movie in preparation for his role as Noah. (IMDB)
That's it! That's the Top 5!  Some other top contenders were:
Love Actually....this is one of my all time favorite movies to watch at Christmas!  Has the perfect combination of funny, sad, serious - all of it wrapped up into one great movie.  The soundtrack is pretty awesome too.

Step Brothers - If you are having a bad day - go and grab this movie and watch it.  It is so stupid it's funny and Will Ferrell plays one of his funniest roles ever and John C. Reilly is hilarious, too.  It's a bit raunchy but probably not too over the top - and totally worth the belly laughs.

 Brennan:  I swear, I'm so pissed off at my mom. As soon as she's of age, I'm putting her in a home.




Honorable Mentions:
Joy Luck Club
Steel Magnolias
The Breakfast Club
Pretty Woman




Thanks so much for playing along....stay tuned for more movie fun!

Cheers and Love - and Keep Moviequoting Alive..
DG

Wednesday

Costume Express..Why You Cause Me So Much Stress?

Seriously Costume Express...cut the shit.  Stop sending Halloween catalogs in June.

Once again, Retailers have me questioning if I missed the date on something or have been sleeping through days and weeks like Rip Van Winkle.  About a month ago, we received our Costume Express Halloween Catalog causing frenzy-like insanity from the boys.  I'm sure you got yours, too.  I seriously think that Costume Express/Birthday Express buys our names from the hospital nursery because they send their first Birthday Express catalog when your baby is three months old so that you can see the "Baby's First Birthday" party supplies when you are in a sleepless, survival-mode stupor and think you have to order the deluxe party package for a bargain bin price of $89.95 like all of the other good parents of the world.

Sleep-deprived parents will find themselves ordering about $600 worth of First Birthday party supplies at 2am when the baby is about 3 months old. This includes paper plates with your child's face on them because that is what every one year old hopes for at their birthday.  Clever Birthday Express...'why you no' send catalog a little sooner?


I digress.

Back to my children.  They are fighting over the magazine on a hot summer day.

"LET MEEEEEEEE SEEEE....I CAN'T SEEEEEEEEEEE!"

"THAT'S NOT FAIR, HE'S HOGGING IT..."

"I WANNA BE WOLVERINE..IT COMES WITH SHARP CLAWS!"

"I WANNA BE WOLVERINE! I NEED THE SHARP CLAWS!"

Blood pressure rising.

"No one is going to be Wolverine. And the Claws are sold separately, just so you know."  I'm hip to the game after 12 years of Costume Express shenanigans.

Children silently deflate into soggy, spineless sad sacks.


It appears as if Wolverine himself clawed his way through the catalog (*Keep in mind it did cost him $16.99 plus shipping to have the claws to do so!)

Here's the thing about Costume Express.  They are overpriced, shitty, barely -sewn- together polyester-y -thin costumes that will last approximately 1.5 hours of door to door candy solicitations.  (Sidenote: New England weather on Halloween can be really cold - so you'll have to wear six layers underneath your polyester!)  They RARELY come with everything seen in the photo, and these poor little preschoolers who can't read yet don't understand the fine print.  Hell, we as parents barely understand it.  Speaking of fine print, you know the awesome $20 off coupon on the back page of the catalog that takes up 1/4 of the page in RED?  Sorry, It's off of $100 or more and it expires September 3 - so forget about all of the back to school mania you are involved in - you'd best be thinking ahead a couple of months and order those costumes so you can get the discount!  Why the long face?  Is it because you know your children so well by now that you are quite aware of the one HUGE problem with this scenario (besides the obvious that you'll never remember to get your order in by September 3)....THEY WILL CHANGE THEIR MIND 10 TIMES BEFORE HALLOWEEN!  But worry not, their return policy states that they gladly accept UNOPENED costumes for a return, and OPENED costumes as an exchange for another within 14 days following FIVE easy steps.

As I finish the above rant, I should add, that I've not only purchased many costumes from them, I've also purchased the birthday supplies as well and they have provided MANY happy memories and fun-themed parties and Halloween outings.  I should own stock in them by now.  They've had me by the mommy parts for years now, but I've smartened up.  The days just after Halloween, I go to Wal-Mart and Target and buy whatever costumes I can find that the boys would like for 70-90% off and put them away for the following year.  It worked well for me for a while when they were too little to know the difference. Now there is nothing quite like the guilt of knowing that your child REALLY wants to be the DELUXE Bumblebee 3-D 2-piece costume for $49.99 that needs the Bumblebee gloves for $6.99, the Missile Launcher for $14.99 and don't forget the Treat Sack to match for a cool $5.99.  Oh but wait, that comes to under $100, so sorry - you don't get the discount of $20 off.  Suddenly, my $3.00 Wal-Mart version of Bumblebee is pathetic and dull and I have a sudden overwhelming feeling that my poor child is going to be the only one who didn't get the costume he wanted.  So I do like many other moms and scramble 3 nights before Halloween to find an emergency compromise and make him wear the Wal-Mart version and order him the Missile Launcher as an accessory and pay more for express shipping than I would've if I had just bought it in August like they suggested.  Well played, Costume Express.  You teach me valuable life mommy lessons every damn year.  I shake my fist at you in frustration.  'Why you no' send the catalog earlier next year.  Perhaps I can order costumes at Christmas instead?


Thanks, Costume Express, for making my bargain Bumblebee look like an insect next to your Deluxe costume.  'Why you no' go one step further next year and make it turn into a Camaro that promises to drive the kids around house to house?

Last year, I bought Iron Man on clearance just knowing that he's one guy that never goes out of style in the eyes of my boys.  I tucked it away thinking I had scored one for the good guys at a mere $4.99 after Halloween.  It looked decent - it would do the trick.  First thing the boys notice when they are done playing tug of war with the magazine...."The NEW Avengers Iron Man Mark VII Light-Up" 

What the Sam Hell?

"The most high-tech armor Tony Stark has engineered.." (wait, you mean Wal-mart's version wasn't designed by Tony?  You mean that  tissue thin, skin-like fabric isn't enough armor to please the Avengers?)
2 Piece costume - $44.99
Deluxe Iron Man Gloves - $9.99
Glow Wand (because Iron Man isn't bad ass enough without a wand) - $5.99
Boots (BOOTS? WTH?) - $29.99  THIRTY DOLLAR BOOTS. (and you know those boots are NOT made for walking, and your child will be complaining by block 2.)
Total Iron Man Deluxe Price  = $90.96
We're sorry, your order still doesn't qualify for the discount.  Would you like to add more items to your cart to get to $100?


Don't forget to add on the red Iron Man boots for $29.99, because you will definitely get a lot of wear out of those.  (Banging my head against wall...)

NO.  I do not want more items.  I do not want to place this order.  Back to the Walmart version - and another compromise - the Iron Man noise-making gloves at Walmart for $9.99.  There, everyone is happy.

One problem.  It's only August 22.  We have 70 more days and at least 5 more mind changes until Halloween.  Costume Express 3, Mommy - 0.

Happy Halloween...errr...I mean..Happy end-of-August,
~DG
PS !  Moms of girls - please, indulge me...what do girls go bonkers over for costumes? Or is this a boy thing?

One final note - this is me and my brother.  Sadly, I am Grape-Ape.  My brother is a much cooler Steve Austin (Bionic Man).  Talk about cheap ass costumes?  This was 1977.  Ahh good times.

Friday

Kinde-pendance Day



It is hard to believe that I am 10 days away from reaching the event I wished would come on so many tough occasions, yet dreaded equally as much and even more so on the good days.  The first day of Kindergarten...also known as Kinde-pendance Day.  This is the day I put my trust into the school system and wish with all of my might that they are worthy of that trust.

It's been 8 years since Eldest went to Kindergarten.  I don't know why it didn't scare me as much - maybe because I was younger, I was working full time, and he had been in daycare due to my work schedule.  He only knew a daily 9-5 routine with someone else.  He was resilient and confident, and our time together in the morning and evening was absolutely precious.  Middler and Youngest were fortunate to be home with me, and I with them this time around, so I am feeling mixed emotions.  Most of the time, it's like a chokehold that has me around the neck, holding back tears of fear, excitement, & anxiety - you know the usual adrenaline fueled stuff that keeps you up at night.  Then there are the days when they are fighting over a Lego piece, wrestling to the ground, pleading their case to me on why something isn't fair - and I'm ready for them to get back to the glorious routine of the school year.

I vividly remember my first day of Kindergarten.  I wore a pink tshirt and shorts and had a small Snoopy backpack.  Now my boys have these ridiculously oversized (go-figure) Batman and Superman backpacks equipped with a long flowy cape and pocket for that cape.  (WHY didn't I think of that?)  My first day of school was heartbreaking.  I did NOT want to leave my mom and get on that bus.  My OCD kicked in and I started to sweat and get teary at the bus stop.  What if he doesn't know the way to the school? What if I'm late? What if he runs out of gas? Will my mom find me?  Will he remember to drop me off at this bus stop at the time my mom is expecting me?  How will my mom feel if I don't get off that bus because I got on the wrong one?  Panic.  Neurosis-fueled, irrational panic.  At five years old.  ( I think there is a pill for that now.)  The bus driver, I remember distinctly.  His name was Pete.  He chose one child each day to come up and sit next to the control panel on his left -hand side to 'help' him drive.  I never got picked for that.  Today, I am certain, he'd be called a Pedophile, or worse.  Bad choice - yes.  That was 1978.  Things were different then.


My Kindergarten Photo.  Rocking and Rolling the Garanimals like a damn boss.

I arrived at the school.  I went into my classroom.  An overwhelming feeling of fear took over my body.  My teacher, a 60-something-approaching-retirement-woman who had the patience of a 2 year old, quickly announced that we should find a center and not 'dilly dally'.   What?  How am I dilly-dallying I just got here!  I shut down.  I went to the nearest desk, put my head down, and cried.  And cried.  And cried.  Until suddenly, I had what I thought might just be a friendly tap on the shoulder from a classmate. Tap Tap Tap.

 I looked up with my big chestnut eyes, hopeful that someone was there to ask me to play.

This bright blue eyed, red-headed, freckle-spattered boy looked at me quizzically and asked, "why are you crying?"

I answered between the jerky-type breaths from whimpering, "I just want my mommy.."

He threw his head back and cackled as he pointed to me...'YOUR MOM'S NOT HERE..HA HA HA HA HA (SINGING THAT AWFUL TEASING TUNE THAT KINDERGARTNERS SPECIALIZE IN..)'

I immediately threw my head back down on my desk and cried some more until Mrs. W. came to console me.  She didn't have much by way of nurturing kindness, but she did say I'd see my mom when school was done.

I did manage to survive school and so will Middler.  He's tougher than I could've ever dreamed to be.  He's a natural leader.  He talks too much and doesn't listen enough - but Kindergarten is the great equalizer - so I know it will all even out by October 1st.  Kindergartners don't suffer fools.  They don't put up with nonsense.  They are a jury of peers, ready to judge and sentence faster than any court case in the history of the US.  They chew each other up, decide what doesn't agree with them, and quickly regurgitate the unwanted.  There is no sink or swim on the playground - it is swim, swim, swim.  Whether this is with a school of other fish, or by being a barnacle to others, latching on to someone safe, or by being an independent shark, it's all swimming skills.   I have seen what Kindergarten can do to kids.  There is no life lesson quite as harsh - or helpful quite like Kindergarten.

Let's take a look at the key players of a typical Kindergarten classroom:

1.  The Jerk:  Oh we all know this guy all too well don't we?  The rules to every playground game change to suit him.  You tag him, he says you tagged just his shirt not him, he never loses, ever...he can dish it but can't take it.  See also: Bully, Your Future Housepainter, Zero.



These 'annoying childhood friend' memes are so relatable..they crack me up. (www.quickmeme.com

2.  The Tattler:  This one cannot let anything slide.  Absolutely no breaks are given.  This one adheres to all classroom policies and rules and expects everyone else to 100% of the time.  This is one of the most annoying class friends the teachers have to deal with.  Total amount of yearly class time lost on Tattlers- 6 hours.



3.  The Drama Queen:  This one is used to being the boss of her family.  She either gets her way, or everyone suffers from the high pitched, all out hysterical scream that comes from the pit of her diaphragm.  You will learn to either tiptoe around her or steer clear of her.  She will also be the one that gets a cell phone for Christmas at 5 years old, 3 American Girl dolls for her birthday, and a pony- just because.  (See also: My Sweet 16 on MTV and Toddlers in Tiaras).


Girls are always saying "sorry I'm saving this seat..or swing..or bench..or SOMETHING!" (pic from www.morguefile.com/picmonkeyDG)

4.  The Crybaby:  I guess I could put myself in this category since I lost my shit the first day of Kindergarten.  This little one is sensitive, has trouble with daily drop off, pines away for his/her mom, and dreams of playing in the comforts of his/her home.  It will take time, but eventually the crying will subside in exchange for smiles and giggles.



5.  The Nosepicker:  This one.  Ohhhh this one is a sore spot for me.  This one has an affinity for the taste of mucus, long fingernails, earwax buildup, and an overall Ogre-like existence.  He/she feigns washing hands at restroom break and infects the classroom with germs.  He/she also likes to french kiss the water fountain, lap water up from the pool of water in the fountain when there is a clogged drain, and put his dirty fingers on the opening where the water comes out.  He/she is a teachers' nightmare, and every parents' worst enemy.  See also:  Contagion, Lice Breakout, Strep Breakout, etc. Has guaranteed perfect attendance as he's Motrin'd up and sent to school with 103 fever.



Actually, the case has been solved.  All fingers point to the Nosepicker.  Thanks, Buddy. (motifake/DG)

6.  The Town Crier:  This little one has an embarrassing, personal tidbit from his/her family that parents would be mortified if they knew was shared.  He/she likes to talk about inappropriate things such as finances, politics, religion, things they overheard parents say about other parents/teachers, etc.  See also: Things Teachers know about Parents that they shouldn't and may or may not be used against them later in the year.

True Story of a Town Crier.  (someecards/DG)

7.  The Constant Interrupter/Disruptor:  They simply cannot help themselves.  They have an unrelated interjection for every occasion.  In Math, if someone has 2 apples, and they pick 3 more, leaving them with 5 apples total, the Interrupter will feel the need to add that his mom makes delicious blueberry pie and lets him put his own whip cream on - this will cause classmates to feel the need to tell their story about their favorite dessert.  Total amount of diverted class time per year due to the Interrupter - 4 school days.



8.  The Shy One:  The poor little thing.  The painfully shy one in the corner that has trouble making eye contact, breaking out of their shell, speaking, participating...anything.  This one is a secret stealth bomber in waiting.  He/she will end up being President one day.  Just leave them be....they'll come around.

9. The Independent/Defiant One:  You have to tell this one 3 times to do something because he's/she's used to getting away with not doing it at home.  They are always the one talking and touching others in line for recess, swinging their lunch box in the hallway, causing confusion and delay.  If you are fortunate enough to only have one of these in class, you're doing well.  This is the same student who will tell his/her parents of any wrongdoings or unjust punishments, causing a meeting with his/her parents and the Principal by Day 3.


Most annoying thing that the Defiant one does to others while in line for break.  "Teacher said not to touch you, and I'm not..."  (picmonkey/google images)

10.  The Fidget:  The fidget has ants in his pants...asks to use the restroom 5 x a day, needs a constant drink of water from the fountain, his pencil perpetually need sharpened - and visits the nurse at least 2 times a day.  He misses any and all important goings on in the classroom, and has a two minute attention span.

Personally, I think Middler will be a combo of 2, 6, and 7 with a sprinkle of 8, but only time will tell.  If you are getting ready to send your little one to Kindergarten, I am wishing you well and hoping that they have a wonderful first year of school.

Cheers to a great school career with as many wonderful memories their little hearts can hold!  Happy Kinde-pendance Day!
~DG

Tuesday

I'm a Hazard to Myself Part 2...



The other day, I read that Self-Deprecating Humor is a thing of the past and that bloggers should stop the nonsense.  Is it really?  Then I am washed up!  I tend to provide all of my blog material from the crazy stuff that happens to me in my daily life.  If is not in style anymore to write about my follies - what in the hell would I write about??



Haven't seen me for a while have you?

Things have been a bit crazy around here to be honest.  We went to Ohio to visit my parents, then I went to NYC to the BlogHer conference, and then, this past weekend, Hubs and I took a MUCH needed trip away with another couple to the MGM Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut while my mom stayed with the kids.  For the record, the last time he and I went away together was one night in February 2011 - that's a longgg time to not get away alone.  It may appear that I am a jet setter but when you factor in that I have only been out of the house a dozen times in 5 years, it's not that impressive.

You know how much I love casinos.  Besides my coffee addiction, this is my only other vice that I admittedly know I am obsessed with and get a natural high from.  You also know, I don't get out much.  I stay at home with the three boys, as their beckon call girl. I am also an old world traditional Greek wife who has dinner on the table 5 nights a week, slaving to make sure everyone is taken care of - including myself - last.  So just to recap, in case you are a new reader - I've been out a handful of times in 2012; one was a Norwex cleaning party where I had to fight food poisoning with every inch of my womanhood (and nearly lost), another was a girls weekend in Boston where I did everything in my power to either knock myself out or get knocked out with a cab door, a blissful time in NYC where believe it or not, besides being starstruck by other brilliantly funny bloggers, I did no harm to myself or anyone around me, and finally this past weekend's story to come.  The only conclusion one can draw from reading my stories is that I should not leave the comforts of the one mile radius of my home.  It's just too....dangerous.

We arrived with our friends on Sunday.  I was so beyond excited I didn't eat breakfast.  Dumb. I know.  I had a coffee before we got on the road.  Almost 3 hours later, we arrived at Foxwoods, and the adrenaline soared through my veins as my fingers started twitching with the idea of playing the slots.  The cool air hit me right in the face as we walked in from the steamy hot, humid Connecticut weather.  We were hungry so we hit Junior's (modeled off of a Brooklyn diner) for lunch.  I ordered another coffee - only these coffees were like soup bowls, designed to keep you awake, alert and energized for a day full of gambling.  I also had a huge lunch that could choke the average bear - but I really was hungry - and the food was absolutely delicious.  After lunch, we headed in for some play.  I watched a woman win $15,000 right before my eyes, giving me the false sense of hope that I, too, could be that lucky.  And why not me, right?


Things I love:  1. My Family 2.  My Friends 3.  Slot Machines  4.  Coffee  5.  Coffee/Slot Machines Together

We played and played - we did pretty well!  The boys took off for some golf.  We were enjoying the thrill of the slots, playing with our winnings.  We even managed to get to the spa for a lovely pedicure and some down time, enjoying every minute of kid-free, adult time and conversation.  Later that night we had an amazing dinner at Cedar's Steak House and I didn't have to cut anyone's meat, mumble under my breath to stop blowing bubbles in milk, or tell anyone to get up from underneath the table.  It was glorious.  What did I have to drink with dinner you ask?  A Lemondrop Martini laced with sugar crystals that was almost too pretty to drink.  After a filling dinner, I wasn't up for dessert, but instead, had what?  A coffee.  Are you seeing a theme here?  No water. Ever.  (Hitting my head with my fist).


At dinner.  Dehydrating as this photo was taken.

Monday morning comes.  We're up early.  The boys decide to conquer the golf course again, leaving us girls to our morning coffee.  We get danishes and a large coffee.  But this large was like an extra large - more coffee than I need ever drink in a week.  But it's soothing, and delicious and I'm game for splurging on everything this weekend.  We take our coffees outside to the magnificent pool at the hotel.  The sun is shining brightly through the gorgeous blue sky and we are comfy cozy on the lush lounge chairs.  We chat away, uninterrupted about everything from clothing to exercise, to kids to gambling, to food.  Time flies by, and the sun is causing my black hair to feel about 200 degrees all of a sudden.  It's getting hot.  Really hot.  I look down and realize that I have consumed the entire coffee during our poolside chat.  It was a bit surprising to even me, the coffee lover that I managed to throw that whole thing back.  We decide to hit the slots one more time before the boys are done gambling.

We sigh pleasantly as we walk into the frigid casino area.  My temperature immediately goes from steaming hot to icy cold in a matter of minutes.  We sit down at machines side by side, trying to contain our excitement and anticipation, when all of a sudden, I feel...funny.  Not funny ha ha...funny bad.  I panic.  I look at my girlfriend and she gazes into the payline of her slot machine hitting mini payouts here and there.

 "I feel really..weird all of a sudden.."

She looks at me with concern.  The sheer will for me to keep hitting BET MAX on my slot machine is being overridden by my heart palpitations and shaky hands.  She looks back at me and does a double take with the fear of God in her eyes.

"Oh my god, you are sweating like crazy!"  she says.

 I try to snap out of it and notice pools of sweat pouring off of my arms, legs, face, neck.  I am Reuben from Along Came Polly.  I am Annie (Kristen Wiig) from Bridesmaids.  I am going to literally drown in a pool of my own perspiration.  I ask her to walk me over to one of the comfy benches at another slot machine.  My legs are shaking and I'm weak.  No damn water.  I haven't had a drop of water in 2 days.  Am I a complete idiot? Apparently, at 39 years old, yes.  Yes I am. 


Picture my friend and I having a scene much like this one...from the movie Bridesmaids.

Next thing I know, the EMT's are headed toward me after my girlfriend informed security standing nearby that I may be taking a nose dive at any minute.  The EMT was a lovely man.  He sat down next to me on the bench and tried to remain composed as he said, "you're ummm...sweating pretty profusely there so let's get some of your vitals."  He asked me what I had for breakfast....I answered a very large coffee and a danish.  He answered, "not a great start to the day.."  (He was judging me in the most kind and concerned way).  He asked me what I had for dinner the previous night...I answered a NY Strip Steak.  Again, no water anywhere in sight.  He began to slightly lecture me on how the casino brings out the worst in people, it isn't a healthy environment, it causes people to make bad choices, etc.  Is it wrong that while he was lecturing me, I was wondering if I could just slide a $20 bill into the slot machine until he was done checking me out?  I was losing precious gambling time.  Yes, I get it - it is a sickness.  I got wrapped up into not having to worry about anyone, and apparently, I forgot to worry about myself.  I am not the spring chicken that I used to be and thought I still was.

After about 10 minutes of him chatting with me and asking me questions, I realized that the sweating stopped, leaving me with a sopping wet shirt and capris.  (I may or may not have thought pound-wise how much weight I lost).  He asked me if I wanted to go to the emergency room, I politely declined.  I then had to sign my life away saying I declined to go to the hospital.  They did, however, give me a ride via wheelchair (extra-extra large wheelchair I might add...that one could've fit three people in it..).  He continued his lecture on why the casino environment brings out the worst in people.  I get it, I get it.  It's a simple math problem:

Coffee +  Sun + Second Hand Casino Smoke + Slot Machine Mania/Addiction - Water = Syncope or Near Syncope

I am a simple girl.  I have a less-than-frilly lifestyle.  I consider myself rather low maintenance for a woman (Hubs would agree to that).  So I like gambling..so what.  So I love me some coffee...go figure.  So I forgot how to take care of the basic needs of my existence..ok there's a lesson there.  I'll drink water next time.  I will.  I promise.  The tragedy of this situation is not that I almost fell over in the casino, it's that I missed out on what could've been the big jackpot of the day.  Spoken like a true gambling addict.

Until next time, I'm in the safe confines of my home, drinking lots of water.

Stay hydrated my friends...
~DG

PS - This post is dedicated to my friend CM, who watched me wilt before her eyes and didn't panic.  She and I took our friendship to the next level over the weekend.  xo

Monday

Underachieving at BlogHer 2012..


First thing I heard when I registered..."Sorry hun, we're all out of lanyards...next please!"  (I told you I'd end up like Milton Waddams from Office Space, didn't I!) A fellow blogger, Aspiring Mama,  felt so sorry for me that she gave me a hand-made gorgeous beaded lanyard so mine ended up being better than anyone else's!  Bawhahahahaa! Thank you!

I am back from NYC and have a huge pile of laundry to prove it!

Not only did I make it out of the bathroom - I did better than that!  I had a blast. (Though some of my favorite moments were in the restroom...you can really connect with women and learn a lot about people's bowels in there!)

I'll be honest - I did not unlock the mysterious sacred code that is how to make a million dollars from a silly little humor blog...but in all honesty, I did not expect to. I did, however, thrive on the energy that everyone brought to the conference..the mixture of excitement, nerves, enlightenment, pride and the happiness that is felt knowing that everyone there 'gets' it.  I wanted to recap some of the highlights for those of you who really want to know.

*Sitting in a room with over 4000 bloggers (mostly women), it struck me as to how much power we have through our voice.  It was mind boggling to understand that we belong to a little microcosm of people who are willing to express, share and relate to others by putting into words what so many others are feeling.  It was pretty cool to feel that power and sense of camaraderie.  There is a totally relatable blog out there for EVERY situation..whether it's single parenting, being a widow, cancer, parents of sick children, remodeling your bathroom, selling your home, needing a laugh - you name it - just search for it - and BOOM instant support group.

*One simple smile can unlock a new friendship, a new life lesson, a new understanding of the struggles of others.  I absolutely loved meeting new people, and understanding their life through their blog in their 10 minute chat with me.  We all struggle differently..we all thrive in various ways..we are all just making our way through life.  This conference reminded me that it really is a small world.


Me and NINJAMOM...one of the funniest women I have ever met. 

*The sessions were great.  It was enlightening to hear what works for other people and what their take on the best way to handle things is, however, I am a true believer that there is more than one way to do things, so as with anything, I take the applicable stuff and leave the rest that stresses me out.  That probably goes for any conference that you go to.

*These are the most popular/memorable comments I received this past weekend:
-YOU CANNOT BE FROM NEW HAMPSHIRE...

-THAT'S WEIRD YOU DON'T LOOK LIKE YOU ARE FROM NEW HAMPSHIRE..

-YOU ARE PRETTY COOL FOR SOMEONE FROM NEW HAMPSHIRE..

-WHERE DID YOU SAY YOU WERE FROM AGAIN..VERMONT WAS IT?

-CAN YOU MOVE, WE'RE TRYING TO GET A PHOTO HERE. (also see: can you take a pic of us?)

-CAN I SEE YOUR INVITATION?

-LET ME GUESS, YOU'RE ITALIAN (PRONOUNCED EYE-TALIAN)

-WHO ARE YOU AGAIN? NOPE, NEVER HEARD OF YOU...?

-SORRY, WE'RE ALL OUT OF __________(LANYARDS, SWAG, COOKIES, ETC)

-HOW MANY TWITTER FOLLOWERS DO YOU HAVE?  OH.

-OH YOU'RE GREEK?  I LOVE FETA CHEESE.

-ARE YOU PEOPLE I WANT TO PUNCH IN THE THROAT'S PERSONAL ASSISTANT?


Answer:  Yes.  I would be her freaking assistant any day of the week.  She. Is. Awesome.  But alas, she wishes to remain anonymous..but I swear that is my cheek against her soft delicious hair - and my arm  and hand squeezing her shoulder a little too tight.  SECURITY!

-OMG HOW IN THE WORRRLD DO YOU SAY YOUR LAST NAME?

And finally...the most popular comment...
YOU'RE FROM JERSEY, RIGHT?  YOU JUST LOOK LIKE YOU'RE FROM JERSEY.

NOOOO I'M NOT FROM NEW JERSEY!

I decided to throw in my suggested itinerary for future blogging conferences based on my experience.


 *The Underachiever's BlogHer 2013 Itinerary for Saturday*

Breakfast 7:30-8:15am:  The longest, most spectacular all-you-can-eat Breakfast Bar with at least 50 urns of coffee and creamer/sugar stations so you do not have to be polite to anyone while you are waiting for them to finish stirring their damn coffee 100 times before they are content that it's mixed properly. 

8:15 - 9:00 am is reserved for waiting in line in bathroom for 10 minutes while discussing constipation from conference food and/or urinary frequency or incontinence due to childbirth, aging, etc.....once finished in bathroom, the rest of the allotted time is for wandering the hallways of the massive center/hotel pretending to read signage to find where you are going, and walking around aimlessly looking for particular session room.

First Session 9:00 - 9:10:  Blogging 101 Designed for up and coming new bloggers with the attention span of a gnat.  Time 9:00 - 9:10 am - No question and answer period, sorry.

Vendor Stations/ Expo Center - 9:15-11:00 am:  Super swag shopping mania.  Grab a bag and run as fast as you can, nabbing all of the free shit your bag can hold.  Do not make eye contact with any vendors, do not drop your cards in their fishbowls.  Do not pass go. Do not collect their information and paperwork.  Grab and Run.  Go. This is a sprint AND a marathon.  Three floors of all the swag you can imagine.  Don't forget you'll need to sprint up the 40 flights of stairs to the special suites because taking the elevators will get you there in about 8 hours.  <--you most definately want to click on that link...

Lunch: 11:00 - 12:00 Bloggers will not have to beg, borrow, steal, or elbow anyone to get a little nourishment at lunch time.  There will be an endless pizza bar, salad bar, all you can eat fried foods station and countless beverages to choose from.  We understand that women and food go together like peanut butter and jelly and we are not going to stand in your way. 

Second Session:  Using Social Media to Promote Your Blog: 12:15 - 1:00pm This is a good opportunity to sit in our comfy chairs, ready to listen, while Tweeting one liners from our speakers to pretend you are actually listening.  Be sure not to make eye contact at all with anyone, but continuously tweet and mention people that are sitting right next to you.


While we are talking about Twitter - I think I should pass along the advice I kept hearing all weekend.  If you aren't on Twitter..you are living in the dark ages.  Follow me @domesticgoddss and while you're at it, follow Punch, too !  @throat_punch   

Third Session:  How to Get Invited to Private Parties  1:15 - 2:00 pm.  -  Learn the secrets about who you need to schmooze so you too can score an invite to these exclusive events. Also learn the proper form of how to carry your elite swag from private functions so that others can see you are much cooler than they are.  (Ok, ok, I was totally jealous that I wasn't at any of these parties...and yes, that was me that got escorted out of the Disney Junior party when I showed up without an invite.)  They had Minnie Mouse do it so I didn't cry too hard. (I should clarify - I didn't crash it or get escorted out, I'm just being funny.  I did ask Minnie if it was a private party when I got to the door and saw the Disney sign and she nodded yes..she's a nice little mousey).


Oh Toooo-dles!  Show her the door - she doesn't have an invite!

2:15pm - 3:00 pm:  Supersession:  What Would You Do For a Klondike Bar? - It's 2:15 pm, you are starving - this session is self-explanatory.  It should be stated that you'd do anything right about now for some chocolate covered lusciousness on a stick.  This conference understands that we need to be on a steady diet of fried foods, chocolate, coffee and alcohol every few hours.


The basic food pyramid of bloggers and women everywhere.

3:00 - 5:30pm - NAPTIME.  Do not even think about skipping this.  You will not make it past dinner without a nap.  Schmoozing is draining, exhausting, and an absolute must for this conference.  You will feel like you've been run over by a train by 3pm and your eyes will be so dry only a gallon of Visine will help.  Go to your hotel room, you're grounded for 2 1/2 hours.


This is a photo of me and one of the really brilliant editors at the Huff Post - she wishes to remain anonymous of course..but if you really look closely, you'll see her funky cold black glasses  and part of her boob.  Could I be any happier to be in the presence of such cool NYC people!? Nope.

5:30 - 7:30pm -  Dinnertime with Friends & Fashion Show- Dinner will be served promptly at 5:45.  Real life bloggers will model yoga pants, tshirts and slippers - hairstyles will also be modeled - check out the ponytail, the side ponytail, the messy bun on head, the headband, and the wrap scarf.


One of the most hysterical parts of the weekend was the Mouthy Housewives/ Aiming Low party.  Talk about women after my own heart!  They had a photo booth (a very tiny one) that we squeezed ourselves into while wearing all different types of props.  I have drawn arrows where you can see me and/or my big hair that took up so much room you can't really see anyone else.  (Also in photo:  ninjamom, motherhoodwtf, let me start by saying,  & hiding/choking behind/because of my hair, people I want to punch in the throat)


7:00 - 10:00 pm - Party - Free drinks abound.  Comfy couches, cell phone charging stations, and m&ms at every table.  Drinks served by men in togas.  Highlight of the night includes the largest cake that the cake boss can make along with goggles and ladders for anyone who wants to jump on and eat it.  This is a cake for eating, not for gawking.


At this conference, your phone is your lifeline.  I highly recommend bringing your charger or buying a portable charger.  You will drain your battery in no time!

10:15 Lights out.  No one has to pretend they have the stamina to stay up past 10:15.  You're tired, you have dry mouth, your feet hurt, your back hurts, your head is pounding and the Spanx are cutting off your circulation giving you gas that you can't hold in anymore.  Get up to your room, get the bra off and let your dogs bark. Good night.


I packed 3 gorgeous pairs of shoes - and one pair of comfy travel shoes.  Guess what I wore the entire weekend?  Yup - the travel shoes.  You have no idea how much you will need your feet on a weekend like this!

That's all for me - put BlogHer 2013 Chicago on your calendar for next year.  It's a brilliant meeting of the funniest women around.  Bravo and Kudos to BlogHer 2012 for all of the hard work it took to make this outing so successful.  Anytime you have that many women in one room and no casualties, you are doing something REALLY right.
More info on Chicago 2013 - http://www.blogher.com/blogher-13-heading-back-midwest-chicago-here-we-come  Take my advice.  Sign up EARLY.

Cheers..
DG