Archives for January 2011

I Got Myself a J-O-B!

Well, actually two…

After my friend Ameena was featured here for Monster Mommy Moments, I really started thinking about going back to work…so much so that I called my old boss and asked if I could consult for him again (my background is in Human Resources, and I started to consult after Ethan was born).

Then I started thinking….what if I could somehow figure out a way to get paid to do the things I love? Blogging, social media, writing…wouldn’t that be awesome? A dream job? If only I could figure out how to do that…

And sometimes, pieces fall into place and opportunities fall right into your lap. Which is what happened to me! I was talking to a friend of mine and she was telling me about her new job with a company that helped businesses get into social media to help grow their clients and profits. I mentioned my blog and my addiction to Twitter, and she asked if I’d maybe be interested in working with them. And before I knew it, I started doing part time social media consulting!

A couple of weeks later, I applied for a position as a celebrity blogger with Babble.com’s Celebrity Parenting blog: Famecrawler…and I found out last week that I got it! As of today, I’m a Celebrity Blogger!

I’m really excited about the new opportunities that I’ve been given, and I’m looking forward to working again.
Of course, my blog is my first love, and I’ll still be around…I’d miss you all too much if I couldn’t blog and read blogs everyday!
You’ll probably see me tweeting a lot about my new gig, and I hope if you have a chance, you can pop over to Famecrawler and show my posts some love…I’d really appreciate it!

And so it goes…

Monster Mommy Moment – Jen Style

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Today, Jen from Buried with Children is going to be sharing a Monster Mommy Moment with us!
No idea what a Monster Mommy Moment is? You can read all about how my new weekly feature came to be here.
Jen is also a mom of multiples, but she has TRIPLETS (and you guys always think that I have it rough)! She is funny, sincere, and from the moment we started stalking each other, we were instant friends.If you don’t already know her, you will really enjoy reading her and tweeting with her.
So grab a cup of coffee and a donut, ahem, I mean a low-fat muffin, or depending on the time of the day maybe some wine and chocolate, and sit back and enjoy Jen’s Monster Mommy Moment!
———-
My Mommy Monster Moment
“WHAT ARE YOU DOING?” I screeched at my children sitting around the kitchen table.
The art supplies were scattered all over and Hayden was opening a jar of paint. They all stopped what they were doing and looked up at me.
I had been on the phone with a friend of mine to talk about her sick mom and I had put the art supplies out to keep them entertained while I talked.
“Mom, I want to paint,” Hayden said looking at me with the sweetest puppy dog eyes he could manage.
That damn paint.
In my rush to give them something to do so that I could talk on the phone, I had forgotten to take it out of the box. Paint was such a messy things to do and it was close to dinner time and I just didn’t want to deal with the mess.
“Hayden, you can’t paint,” I said. “We don’t have any paint brushes.”
“Mom, yes we do,” he said as he rooted through the box and the smiled as he proudly produced the package of brushes.
Damn.
I knew those were in there too but I had hoped that he wouldn’t find them. Usually the boy can’t find the nose of his face when asked but this time, when I didn’t want him to find something it was like to conjured them out of thin air.
I felt bad for lying so I made a deal with him, “Fine. You can paint but only with one color and you all have to take turns.”
They all cheered and I thought that this was the perfect solution.
I got him paper and everything he needed to paint and I turned to begin the process of making dinner.
I was proud of myself for making this almost bad parenting moment into a good one with a compromise. I thought things were working out well when I turned to walk to the pantry and saw it.
A very large blue paint spill on the table.
“HAYDEN! WHAT IN THE WORLD IS THAT?!” I screeched in a high pitch voice that probably made the neighborhood dogs howl.
“I know, I know,” he said through gritted teeth. “I spilled. I was going to clean it up.”
I huffed at him and began mumbling a slur of curse words under my breath as I grabbed some paper towel to clean things up.
“No, mom,” Hayden screamed at me, “I will do. I will clean it up. I did the bad thing. I hate myself, I hate myself. Hate. Hate. Hate.”
He stood up with too much force and knocked the chair over causing a loud bang.
I watched him begin to sob and as he ran out of the room, he hit myself in the head saying over and over and over again how stupid he was and that he hated himself.
The realization of what had just happened seemed to slap me in the face.
I had let my ‘Mommy Monster’ escape.
He was reacting to this situation with the overly dramatic flare that he had seen me do a thousand times before.
Instead of just calmly getting a towel and cleaning up the mess of Crayola paint that comes off of anything, I had yelled and screamed and pretty much had a hissy fit making my son feel terrible. I had let my ‘Mommy Monster’ get the best of me.
I stopped wiping up the paint and found Hayden in a corner of the bathroom huddled into a ball and sobbing.
At first when I touched him he pulled away but soon he was in my arms again saying things about hating himself and what a bad boy he was.
I let him cry and then made him look at me, “You are not a bad boy. You are a wonderful boy and I am very lucky to have you for my son. I am so proud of you.”
He sniffled.
I continued, “I am sorry about that whole thing. I really didn’t handle it very well.”
He looked confused at me so I tried again, “Mommy made a mistake. My behavior was really, really bad. I should not have yelled at you. I am sorry. Will you forgive me?”
He hugged me close and with a sniffle he said, “Yes, mommy. I forgive you.”
And now for the hard part, forgiving myself.
———-
Thanks Jen, for reminding us that we are all sharing the same experiences with our children and that we’re all in this together. And about how forgiving and kind our children are.

Now go swing by Buried with Children and say hello to Jen, and if you’re new there make sure to tell her that I sent you. I know you’ll really enjoy her blog!

And so it goes…

Project Smile – January

I won’t have time to post this later in the week, so I’m doing my Project Smile post today.

Don’t know what Project Smile is? My wonderful friend Alicia over at A Beautiful Mess had the most fantastic idea…do something to help us find and appreciate our smiles. What are the things that happen everyday that make you smile? It could be something as simple as watching a hummingbird dance around a flower. Want to know more about her wonderful idea? Read her Launching Project Smile post.

There’s no right or wrong way to do this…simply jot down things that make you happy. I chose to do one a day for the entire month. It was a way to remind me that it’s the little things that are the most important, and to find something to smile about each day (especially on the bad ones!).

Now, start jotting down your smiles and link up the last day of every month!

1 – Feeling better after having the stomach flu

2 – Got the house cleaned up and back in order after days of being sick

3 – Playdate at my sister’s…gave the kids a chance to let off some cooped-up steam

4 – Bowling…I bowled my best series ever!

5 – My post The Business which still makes me laugh everytime I see it

6 – Danced in the living room with the kids

7 – Got my inbox all cleaned out…no emails! Yay! (Come on, it doesn’t happen very often!)

8 – Girls watching football with Daddy

9 – Californication is back on…I love that show!

10 – Playdate – kept the kids busy while I got to chat with a real live grown-up!

11 – Started my new part time job!

12 – Photo shoot for business website

13 – Back to work and using my brain

14 – Another opportunity presented itself…

15 – Beautiful Southern California weather – outside enjoying it!

16 – Visit from Jason’s aunt and uncle who never got a chance to meet the babies until now

17 – Picnic lunch outside with the kids…sans ants

18 – Bowled one of my best series ever (above average in all 3 games!)

19 – After a week of living with sickos, finally got the doctor to prescribe antibiotics all around

20 – Good news. Really good news! Found out that one of my posts was being syndicated on BlogHer!

21 – Outside in the beautiful So Cal sunshine all afternoon with the kids

22 – Last minute bbq at my parent’s house with family and friends…always makes for a good time

23 – Took all the kids out to lunch, and they were all so good…lunch was enjoyable

24 – My Scar Tissue post is syndicated on BlogHer!

25 – More good news (look for an announcement on February 1st!)

26 – All the kids went to bed early. Quiet…

27 – Got a new cell phone (that I have no idea how to use!)

28 –  Went to a Celebrating Home party with my mom and sister

29 – Dinner with friends, and without kids

30 – PJ day! Rainy and cold…stayed in pj’s all day.

31 – Newest Monster Mommy Moments post is up!

And so it goes…

Monster Likes #4

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Welcome to Monster Likes! Every Saturday, I list my favorite selection of posts I found throughout bloggy land over the past week.
If one of your posts is listed below and you want the badge, just shoot me an email or leave me a comment and I’ll send you the badge to put on your post.  

So here are my favorite posts of the past week:

Katie over at Sluiter Nation had some amazing writing tips. I mean, they were really good! If you love to write, you need to check them out.

If you are a mom, whether you work or not, this post from Heather at Theta Mom about being a mother is a must read.

Nichole over at In These Small Moments took my breath away with her post about what her children will never know about growing up in a place where it snows and is crazy cold. I hate being cold and I hate the snow even more, but this post made me want to go enjoy the cold and snow somewhere. I know this all sounds weird, so just go read it!

If you look at my comments, to the right to each of them you’ll see a “reply” button that allows me (or anybody) to reply to a comment left. I’ve had a few people ask me how I got that reply button. I found it over at Spice Up Your Blog. It sounds kind of complicated to do when you read it, but it’s really very easy.

The Flying Chalupa has a permanent spot on my Monster Likes posts. I love everything she writes, and I swear that every time I read a post I think “This is my new favorite Chalupa post”. So if you don’t know The Flying Chalupa, go now! You won’t be disappointed.

My favorite comment of the week was left by Angela of Tiaras and Trucks on a piece of fiction I wrote for the red dress club:: titled This Picture Says It All:

“This reminds me of a picture I have of my cousin and I when we were young. My mom and aunt took us to a photo studio. Said studio had ONE ball prop to make kids happy. There are two pictures, in each of them the girl with the ball is beaming while the other is sobbing. Each of our moms have the one with their respective daughters smiling. And so it goes in the world of multiple child photos!”
Angela, now I want a picture of each girl with a ball and a smile while the other cries! That has gotta be a cute picture!

And I don’t normally do this, but I had a post syndicated at BlogHer! If you missed it, please go check it out because I’m very proud of it.

And so it goes…

Warmth

The sound is what I remember most.

The wind. It sounded like screaming. An angry woman screaming.

Or maybe it was crying. Sad, hopeless crying. The kind of crying that you hear somebody cry when they find out that their spouse or child has died. The kind of primal crying that you can’t stop or control. You taste it and feel the angst; the loss…and yet you can’t make it stop.

That sound scared me more than the situation we were in. Because I could stop hearing the helpless voices in my head, but I couldn’t stop hearing that screaming/crying. The fear was a feeling that wouldn’t go away. The voices would hush, but the fear sat right in my lap.

I couldn’t relax. Couldn’t concentrate. The phone wasn’t working and nobody knew that I hadn’t made it back to my house from my mother’s house. She died a month ago, and I came to check on things. The storm? Came out of nowhere.

The cold was totally indescribable. After waiting for hours for it to stop, it just kept coming. It seeped into everything. Everything. I had on layers upon layers of clothing, and the baby laid shivering on my chest, skin to skin. We couldn’t get warm. The baby was whimpering. I think that he somehow understood how afraid I was and was trying to avoid causing me anymore stress. And as the minutes ticked by and my tension turned into comfort, he slowly dosed off. But I couldn’t stop the cold.

Just one drink, I thought to myself. Just one drink to ward off the cold. I won’t be so afraid if I can just get some warmth.

The sweet, dry taste of wine warmed my tongue, my cheeks, my throat…down to my empty stomach. I instantly felt warmer, more in control. More able to handle the screaming. The baby slept on.

One more. It will calm my nerves and help me think more clearly. I won’t be as afraid.

But one more turned into two, three more. The bottle was gone.

I have to stop…try to figure out what to do.

But the warmth of the wine was smooth, relaxing. Comforting. It helped deaden the screaming – turned it into nothing more than a loud, irritating whisper.

There was no heat. No light. No food. No communication with the outside world. The baby had his formula, I had my wine. Bottles of it. We were okay. For now. Except the fear, gnawing at my brain.

The baby was stirring. Was it already time for him to eat? I’m so tired now. The fear and unknowing was wearing me down. Another glass of warmth would calm my nerves.

I’ll just finish this second bottle and then try to sleep. Things are always more clear in the morning.

The baby was crying, and trying to get out of the inside of my sweatshirt. I knew he was hungry, tired, needed to be changed. But the screaming of the wind wouldn’t stop; it was daring me to step outside and have a look into the darkness. I was hot and needed to get some air.

I hear my name in the night. The taunting howl. I want to look – to see what is calling me. I am stronger than the wind.

But the baby won’t stop crying. I push him into my breasts. I want him to be quiet so I can hear the taunt.

The baby won’t stop. The wind keeps calling me. I step outside. I’m not cold anymore.

And so it goes…

I wrote this prompt for Red Writing Hood in response to the prompt: “You are trapped (alone or with others) in a single location during the fury and/or aftermath of a blizzard of historic proportions.” And I wanna know…why is my fiction always so dark?