BlogHer Recap: Five Fabulous Fails

BlogHer11 in San Diego is over, people.

Which is why my family looks at me so sadly when I try and present a drink ticket for wine at dinner.

I haven’t even removed my badge yet. The grocery store clerk now refers to me as “@OldTweener”.

I find myself strategically placing my jammies and toothbrush near the bathroom door on the floor, so that when I sneak come into the room and it’s insanely too late dark I can find them and I won’t disturb my awesome roomies.

Hubs is not amused.

And after the glorious highs and excitement of it all; the wonderful basking-in-the-glow of post-BlogHer giddiness most people wrote an awesome recap post.

I’m cheating by linking to a few of them here. Don’t judge; I’m still tired.

If you want to see me as a beautiful, willowy stick figure drawn by my incredibly talented roomie Lori, go here. I look so hot as a stick figure, I may steal that picture for my new About Me page. Lori is already my friend in real life and we chatted so much on the plane home we neglected to notice a blogger sitting in the third seat in our row. My apologies to the very beautiful (and tolerant) Wife of a Dairyman, whose blog I am now following.

If you want to hear how I forced my wonderful and sweet friend Nichole not only to travel with me to San Diego but also to share her drink tickets, get me into the hottest parties, and swap swag, please go here. Nichole is one of my very favorite people already, so to spend days and days with her? Awesome. She even tolerated my insane amount of chatter and reminded me to sanitize my feet after we all danced barefoot. She’s awesome like that.

If you love videos (I know, I’m supposed to call it a vlog) go visit my other awesome roomie Galit, who not only put up with my noisy stealthy sneaking in, but I suspect she was the one who left the light on for me. She found a special place in my heart last week and I intend to keep her there.

And my third roomie (yes, there was bed-sharing) Kayleen wrote the best post I wish I’d read before we hopped on that plane bound for San Diego. She’s smart, that one. And wicked-funny, which I already knew. I felt so smart for snagging her as a roomie the exact moment that she purchased her ticket. Which is not at all creepy.

So my recap post? Not so fluffy and empowering; not very insightful or artistic. But here it is:

Five Fabulous BlogHer Fails

  1. I spent way too much time obsessing about the clothes I needed to look Bloggerish. And when we arrived that first day I did not want to spend time hanging things up on hangers and all that nonsense. So not only did I NOT wear everything I had obsessed over, but it all wound up in an incredible tangle by the second day. Time wasted I will never get back, although I did score a pretty cute Old Navy dress.
  2. I didn’t take any pictures. None. I took a small camera, and I even have a camera on my dumb phone. I just got so distracted by the people and the introductions and the wine incredible food that I forgot. Luckily I did insert myself into lots of other people’s pictures, but now I am on a world-wide-web scavenger hunt to find myself. I call it “Where’s Old Tweener?”
  3. All the awesome swag I collected was not properly packed. Randomly throwing crap swag into your suitcase at 6:30am the morning you leave is not the best approach. Just ask Gigi and Lori, who had the distinct pleasure of watching my super-special detailed search by the San Diego TSA man. He confiscated my bottle of POM juice, a cool wine opener, and a 5-oz package of tuna. Somewhere a TSA dude is having a picnic at my expense.
  4. I didn’t get to meet Rita Arens. This may sound totally stupid and a bit creepy (sorry, Rita) but she was kind-of like a goddess to me back when I had four posts syndicated over at BlogHer. It was like she summoned me up to the stars for a bit. And she blogs, just like one of us. Good stuff, too. I might have even offered her one of my coveted drink tickets (or one I stole from Nichole).
  5. I over-scheduled with the parties. Once the invites started coming in I was struggling to stay afloat, and just kept saying “Yes, yes!” like Meg Ryan in that diner scene. Some of the private parties were almost like long lines to collect swag bags, with a taxicab at the end to take us to our next destination. And all that swag? I gave the cool stuff to my daughter (OPI nail polish, etc…). I am still waiting for the proper moment to give the dog her Canine Plaque Blaster (I’m serious: it’s in the swag bag).

Now? Back to the reality of my life. Cooking, cleaning, taking care of the blog stuff.

Which means I can’t keep dancing on the coffee table after the kids go to bed and declaring it Sparklecorn.

Mom Has Left the Building

Within the hour I am leaving home to attend BlogHer in San Diego. I am leaving my family behind with crappy food, bathrooms that didn’t get cleaned, and questionable laundry status.

This makes me feel both guilty and giddy at the same time.

I thought I would run a post from the past to remind myself that they will forgive me.

Eventually.

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Whether you are a mom or just have a mom, you know that all mothers have flaws. No matter how hard we try, we just can’t be perfect.

Sure, there’s that one mom from the PTA meetings who seems perfect. But rumor has it that she blew a gasket last week in Target when her toddler decided to remove his diaper and run full-speed past the checkout lines.

On a crowded Saturday.

So while most days begin on a good note, things can take a turn at any moment.

Take a few minutes too long in the bathroom when you have a crawling infant and you may find your potted plant has been un-potted.

On the carpet.

Babies teethe, blow-out diapers, and don’t sleep when you need them to. Toddlers rip pages from favorite books, overturn coffee mugs (wasting precious caffeine), throw epic tantrums, and terrorize pets. Older children bicker with siblings, whine, miss their carpool pick up, whine some more, make extreme messes, flunk tests, leave laundry on the floor, and argue with you about it all.

Most of these things on their own aren’t so major. But combine a few, and even the best of us might blow our tops once in a while. We may yell a little bit, say something we don’t mean, send someone to their room, or simply grunt and clench our fists in frustration.

Then the mommy guilt sets in. Melissa at Confessions of a Dr. Mom wrote a great post about this just last week. We all set such high standards for ourselves that when the inevitable scolding/yelling/sending the kids out of the room/morphing into The Hulk happens we immediately go to that place inside that labels us as a Bad Mom.

These are the episodes of parenting that have led to many a spirited playgroup discussion. We lay our mommy indiscretions at the feet of our friends, looking for redemption and hoping they’ve done the same thing.

But today I am going to let you in on a little secret. A secret that may change the way you look at those little rugrats, those unruly but adorable toddlers, and those sulky teens.

Our biggest cheerleaders may not be our other mommy friends.

They are our own children.

The very children who say we are the meanest mommy ever, who roll their eyes when we ask them to clean their rooms, and who want nothing to do with us when we shop together at the mall. Children who most certainly think they are being reared by none other than Attila the Hun and his wife Bertha the Horrid.

They are the ones who want us to succeed the most.

That’s The Power of a Mom. These little pieces of our heart walking around in dirty socks with messy hair and runny noses really, really love us. And they want us to do a good job.

I work with young children who are at-risk for difficulties with school adjustment. Each year, I have at least a handful of students who have experienced first-hand some of the worst mistakes a mom can make: drug or alcohol abuse, incarceration, neglect, verbal or physical abuse.

And without fail, time and time again, these little children still put their mothers on a pedestal.

Because they want them to succeed at being a mom. Their very being depends on it.

They draw pictures of their beautiful, smart mommies. They create visions of what their life will be like when mommy comes home or brings them back to live with her. They gloss over details they don’t know I am aware of, creating excuses for their moms who have taken a path not consistent with motherhood.

The Power of a Mom.

We are, most of the time, someone our children can count on. Whether it’s a peanut-butter sandwich in a lunchbox, a hug after a fight with a friend, or someone to check your spelling homework: mom is there.

So even when she’s not consistent, not physically or mentally able, or not even particularly interested in being a mom, her children are still her biggest cheerleaders. They want their mommy to succeed.

So the next time you yell at your little one because she spilled milk for the tenth time or send your teenager to his room for being surly and the guilt sets in, remember this.

Without fail, these little ones are your biggest fans.

They expect you to make mistakes, they accept your apologies, and love you in spite of it all.

Even if their facial expressions and eye rolls don’t show it.

Bad Words

It sort of crept up on me; I didn’t see it coming this time.

I’d been through this all with my son and yet somehow? I thought it wouldn’t happen again.

So I sailed through my daughter’s late elementary school years, feeling pretty smug.

Sixth grade?

Still quite smug, thank you very much.

But with the start of seventh grade this year, it began. She started using it around the house. Dropped it into conversations here and there.

My skin prickles when she says it. Cold beads of sweat begin forming on my neck and I suddenly lose my appetite. I know I need to deal with it, and quickly.

The “A” Word.

You know the one I mean.

Algebra.

It’s finally happened; the homework has once again surpassed what I remember from school. The furthest reaches of my brain cannot return any of the Algebra I learned back in the day. And I can’t just wing it like I could in her younger days.

Science questions? I’ve got Google on my side.

Honey, the sky is blue because….oh, look! The ice cream man’s out front! Let’s talk about it when you come back inside….

You can’t just Google Algebra. You still have to understand it.

I miss multiplication tables.

Exponent? Oh, I know that one! But what the heck is a quadratic equation and why do I need to graph it?

It turns out, I don’t speak Math. When my son’s math homework started getting hard to follow, I actually thought I was re-learning it, storing it in memory, and this problem would never happen again.

Apparently I was wrong.

And anyone who thinks it’s a good idea to just have the high school son help his younger sister with her math homework has quite obviously never had siblings.

Short of shadowing her to class (embarrassing) or enrolling in the Algebra class at the community college (boring), my only option is to try and keep up by following her lessons in the book.

I have to admit, it makes me feel pretty incompetent as a parent.

I mean, I have a college degree! I was an Accounting major! I can balance checkbooks, figure out tips, estimate taxes, and tell you how much that cute hoodie on the 40% off rack will cost.

Just don’t ask me to do seventh grade again.

This may quite possibly be why we stopped at two kids.
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I am thrilled to have a post syndicated for the Own Your Beauty series over at BlogHer today!

Own Your Beauty is a groundbreaking, year-long movement bringing women together to change the conversation about what beauty means. Our mission: to encourage and remind grown women that it is never too late to learn to love one’s self and influence the lives of those around us – our mothers, friends, children, neighbors. We can shift our minds and hearts and change the path we follow in the pursuit of authentic beauty.

I would love for you to head over to BlogHer today and check out my post, maybe leave me a comment or some sparkles.

Or maybe just some chocolate.

I love that.

Own Your Beauty – Post at BlogHer Today!

I was syndicated on BlogHer.com

I am thrilled to have a post syndicated for the Own Your Beauty series over at BlogHer today!

Here’s the challenge posed by BlogHer:

Let’s take all the energy we’ve spent on endless loops of negative feedback about everything from the way we live our lives to our butts, our hips, our boobs and, for pete’s sake, even our ankles – and use it instead to power something positive and meaningful.

I’ve already started to tune out that nagging little voice inside that insists on telling me I’ve got to be something I’m not.

So can you.

Own Your Beauty is a groundbreaking, year-long movement bringing women together to change the conversation about what beauty means. Our mission: to encourage and remind grown women that it is never too late to learn to love one’s self and influence the lives of those around us – our mothers, friends, children, neighbors. We can shift our minds and hearts and change the path we follow in the pursuit of authentic beauty.

I would love for you to head over to BlogHer today and check out my post, maybe leave me some sparkles.

Or chocolate. I always love that.

And let’s all start to rethink the definition of true beauty.

Revisiting the Tooth Fairy on BlogHer

I was syndicated on BlogHer.com

I am honored to have a second post syndicated over at BlogHer today!

BlogHer is the Web’s leading guide to the hottest news and trends among women in social media. BlogHer brings you the must-read posts across the blogosphere: breaking stories and trending topics, but also important issues, amazing voices, the best writing by women.

So it’s kind of like an online party with millions of women and they all have something to say.

Except there isn’t any wine or cheese.

The post of mine that they are featuring today, All that Remains of the Tooth Fairy, is about something all parents have to deal with at some point, and one of my personal favorites.

I was so excited to have a second post syndicated over there, I may have been seen doing a happy dance.

I would love it if you could take a moment and go read my post over at BlogHer today.

Leave me a comment or a sparkle while you are there, and maybe they’ll invite me back again one day.

Featured on BlogHer Today!

I was syndicated on BlogHer.com

I am honored today to have one of my posts syndicated over at BlogHer!

For those of you who aren’t familiar with BlogHer, here’s a blurb from their site:
BlogHer reaches more than 20 million unique women each month and is the leading participatory news, entertainment and information network for women online. BlogHer is the Web’s leading guide to the hottest news and trends among women in social media. BlogHer brings you the must-read posts across the blogosphere: breaking stories and trending topics, but also important issues, amazing voices, the best writing by women.

So let’s just say I was thrilled when they syndicated my post.

I may have squealed.

The post of mine that they are featuring today, Exit Interview, has been one of the most popular posts with my readers, and is one of my personal favorites as well.

I would love it if you could take a moment and go read my post over at BlogHer today.

Leave me a comment or a sparkle* while you are there, and maybe they’ll invite me back again one day.

*a sparkle appears to be the blog equivalent of a high-five mixed with fairy dust, and has the amazing ability to keep your post alive longer.