April 30, 2009

Self image issues at 3 years old? Updated

This morning daughter had a mini-meltdown because she couldn't wear a dress to school. Recently, more and more she has been asking to wear dresses and I realized that the other girls wear them almost every day. So, I'll let her wear a dress when the weather permits. This morning, however, the dress conversation took a completely different route because she insisted that she would not be a princess if she didn't wear a dress. THEN...she said that she wasn't beautiful because she wasn't a princess.

OMG....what am I supposed to do or tell her when I hear these comments. I tried to reassure her that she IS a princess regardless of what she wears and that she IS beautiful because beauty is not based on what you wear but the kind of person that you are. I'm not really sure whether my response made much sense to her because it may have been too high level. It shocked me that she made the dress issue a little deeper to what I would consider a self image issue. I am also amazed at the power of peer pressure of 3 year old girls!!! I cannot imagine what issues I'll be dealing with at 7 or 10 or 12 if self image is already an issue at 3.

Then I get to her class and without fail, I hear the discussion about who's in a dress and who isn't, so I could totally understand what she was going through. She wanted to go home with me. I felt/feel helpless and I don't know what to say to her to make her feel better. I guess the easy solution would be to let her wear a dress tomorrow, but there is so much more going on here.

Any suggestions and all suggestions are welcome??? I have about 4-5 hours to figure something out.

UPDATE - I let her wear a dress this morning. I'll work on the other issues a little bit at a time.

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April 29, 2009

We're Going Red for Women

We are gearing up to start the Go Red Better U program in June with the folks from the American Heart Association and we.are.psyched!!!!!! We were in Dallas for the past two days living it up - we had a photo shoot, had a great dinner with fantastic and interesting people and had an eye-opening stress test at the nationally renowned fitness center - Cooper Institute - and now we're home (phew). We'll have lots more info in the coming weeks.

Join us - it'll be fun!!!!!

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April 27, 2009

Going Red with the American Heart Association

We are in Dallas, ya'll!! The Mamas are here on behalf of the American Heart Association's newest project. We are having such a blast. We have been in the studio since 10 am this morning in hair and make-up, changing wardrobe, changing looks, and all that good stuff that comes along with being fabulous (read - a mom blogger).

I thought I would sneak in a quick post just to fill ya'll in. When we arrived the weather was terrible so we were all slightly delayed. When we finally met up, we rushed to grab a taxi and asked him to take us to Irving, Blvd. When we arrive, we are in some shady looking shopping center that looked like no where we wanted to be. We finally realized that he took us to Irving Blvd. in Irving, Texas, instead of Irving Blvd. in Dallas, Texas. What were the chances?

Oops, we're back on set.
Follow us on Twitter (Blogalicious09) for funny updates on what's going on.


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April 24, 2009

Happy 10-Month Birthday L'il Buddy!

You are my sunshine.

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April 23, 2009

Potty time - to sit or not to sit?

A few weeks ago Justice Fergie blogged about the incessant potty trips when you've got multiples. Today, I had a similar experience with potty time that was quite exhausting and a little concerning. I went on a field trip with my daughter and her class to the National Zoo. The zoo is basically across the street from her preschool, so we walked there and back and the kids were happy to be on an excursion. I was thrilled to be able to go with her and her class up until she needed to potty. We were smack in between the restroom areas, so we had a bit of a distance to walk so her teacher decided to just make it a potty break for everyone. Great idea - right??? Imagine 16 toddlers making their way to the ladies restroom at the National Zoo just about lunch time with 12,000 other people - it was interesting to say the least.

I took three (including my daughter) into one stall with me so that I could get the show on the road. DD was the only one out of the three girls that wanted to potty so I let her go first. We've got the routine down (don't touch ANYTHING, squat and pee, and don't touch ANYTHING). Next came girl #2. I try to put her on the potty as I did with my daughter and she seemed a little bit resistant but went along with it. She squatted and was peeing. I'm thinking, great...this is working out well, the kids will potty and everyone would be happy! DD then shouts to me look at what girl #2 did. I look up and instead of girl #2 going into the toilet, she was basically spraying me and the floor of the stall. I gather myself and tell her its okay - I didn't want to traumatize her. I grab girl #3 hoping that this will go better and praying that she knows the squat and pee position like DD. No luck - she didn't understand how to squat so I end up having to lift her entire body and hover her over the stall. She's almost in tears because she didn't understand what I was doing. I'm also pretty sure that there was additional spraying but because DD and girl# 2 had left to wash their hands, I was not told about it. Boy....I wish they had worn pull-ups!!!!!!!!!!!!!

After this experience, my question is - do people go bare and sit on public (really public) restroom seats? I was amazed and I still am amazed that these girls didn't know how to squat; so clearly the answer to my question is yes, they do! I remember as DD was getting potty trained I was really concerned about what to do in a public setting. To the rescue came Justice Fergie to inform me that there was no need to worry, and explained the squatting routine. Did no one tell their parents about this trick? Or do their parents sit? I just don't know and I'm afraid for the kids. Public restrooms are extremely disgusting (hello....see what happened above) and I can't imagine their delicate behinds being exposed to the filth of a public restroom.

Is this normal or am I a germaphobe?

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LOVE IT Thursdays! Product Review - Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer

I've been hearing a lot about tinted moisturizers over the past few years and just didn't know where to start with them. I figured it would be better for my skin and my routine to simply get a dual action product. I have used various Mac foundations for years and love them because the color/tone is perfect for my complexion. So, I went into Sephora (hardly ever go there) and asked for some help because Mac doesn't make tinted moisturizers or at least that's the way it appeared when I was shopping for the product. The Sephora folks were very helpful. They had a color specialist that was able to suggest a brand and color that best matched my skin - wonderful!

He recommended Laura Mercier SPF 20 tinted moisturizer and I love it. I love it so much that I'm asking myself why I didn't make the change earlier. This moisturizer gives my skin a such a glow - it's kind of dewey, not cakey, really light and it's giving a whole lotta SPF protection as well. It was a little expensive (around $40) but you only use a couple dots per day.

So, if you're looking for a tinted moisturizer, give this one a shot! Also, try Sephora for your make-up/skincare needs.

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April 22, 2009

Ask Suze Orman!

The Blogalicious 2009 and MamaLaw ladies have been invited to participate in Avon’s Exclusive Blogger Audiocast Hosted by Personal Finance Expert Suze Orman, tomorrow! During the audiocast, we'll have the opportunity to ask Suze (as if we're on a first-name basis) questions about women starting businesses in this economy. We're asking our readers for any questions that you would like us to ask Suze and we'll do our best to make sure you're heard! So...if you could ask this finance and media queen a question about succeeding in business, what would you ask?
Deadline to leave your question in the comments is 9am EST on April 23rd. Sorry for the short notice, but we just found out ourselves!

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April Showers Bring May Trips to the Container Store

It's about that time. The weather finally seems to be warming up and spring finally seems to have arrived in our area. We've fired up the grill and had our first BBQ of the year, hubby has done his spring yard cleanup and we're starting to actually OPEN the windows and enjoy the fresh air. Hurrah! It also means that it's time for some spring cleaning...inside the house.

Where to begin? It seems like we've been hibernating for the past 7 months or so and that stuff has accumulated just about everywhere. We've already designated a weekend to tackle the project and I've started making a list of particularly disastrous areas that need serious attention:
  • the top of the refrigerator (alas, it's in bad shape again)
  • the kids' arts and crafts corner
  • the coat closet (ay!)
  • the girls' closet (time to sort clothes that don't fit, need to be mended, needed to be donated, etc.)
  • my closet

Oh there are plenty more areas that could use some help, but I think this list is enough for now. If you have tips on making this task less painful, do share. Because I'm inclined to just throw it all out!

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What's for dinner

I was trying to figure out what I was going to cook last night for dinner and do you know where I checked first for ideas - Fergie's "What's for Dinner". Fergie....You always think of creative dishes and I know you do your homework so it was a great resource. Thanks!

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April 20, 2009

ALL Mine....not yours

Do you watch the Celebrity Apprentice? I'm a bit addicted to any and all reality shows so that's what I do on Sunday night after putting daughter to bed for the night - in fact, that's really what I do just about every night after getting DD to sleep. Anyway, a couple weeks ago on the Celebrity Apprentice the teams were tasked to create a viral video for ALL detergent.

When one of the teams (don't remember which one) met with the executives from ALL (a man and woman in their late thirties/early forties) they were told that the target audience for the video is "women with kids" not "moms". I believe the team asked whether the audience was moms and they were corrected that it's not moms - it's women with kids. WHAT????????

This distinction was offensive to me. Is there something wrong with being a mom? Is the marketing world trying to make a distinction preferring "women with kids" (like an appendage on the woman's hip) as opposed to moms?
There are times that I love being able to distinguish myself from DD's mommy, but I'll make that distinction. It's such a personal decision based on a variety of factors that I don't think marketers will be able to make that distinction for me.

Furthermore, as time goes on I realize that "mommy" and "me" are so intricately intertwined that I think it's sometimes hard to separate the two. In fact, we as mommies are constantly struggling to balance the two roles - sometimes we can achieve a balance and then sometimes we can't.

It's just not that black and white and I find it disturbing that someone out there in the marketing world would think it smart to change our title for us!

Let me decide if today's a "mom" day or a "woman with kid(s)" day - it's my decision, not yours!

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April 18, 2009

Dasani Promotion & Giveaway: Win a Trip to Chill in the ATL with Chilli!

With Mother's Day just around the corner, it's about that time of year when us moms need to start taking time for ourselves - after all, we deserve it!

Even if your kids are oblivious to all that you do, Dasani isn't. In fact, they've launched a campaign featuring TLC's Chilli, mom to 11-year-old Tron, that celebrates African American moms and their inner beauty. To kick things off, they’ve create a beauty guide which is available online. The site also includes video posts from Chilli and fashion, style and beauty tips. But here's the kicker: one lucky mom can enter to receive a chance to win a 4-day/3-night all expenses paid trip to Atlanta for them and a friend, where they each will receive VIP treatment with a spa day, photoshoot and an opportunity to meet and hang out with Chilli!

And, if you're lucky enough to be in New York City on April 24th, Dasani is also offering free spa services at its Ultimate Style and Beauty Lounge. The event is designed to offer women the opportunity to refresh, recharge and be pampered.
Even if you're not going to be in the Big Apple next week, Dasani still wants you to get your ultimate style and beauty on, and so they're offering MamaLaw readers 4 cute cosmetic cases for a giveaway. All you need to do is check out Dasani's site, and come back and leave a comment saying which of the new Dasani Essence flavors you would enjoy tasting. Tweet this giveaway (and let us know) for an extra entry. Write a post about it (and let us know) for another chance. Winners will be chosen at random at midnight on Friday, April 24.

In the meantime, do something today just for you. Try reeaaaallly hard to squeeze it in, but do it. This mom says you've earned it!

April 17, 2009

I'm Not Hatin' I'm Just Sayin'

Everything Oprah touches still turns to gold though. She is only following 9 people and has over 120k followers on her first day!

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April 16, 2009

Just Call Me "Mrs. Fix-It"

You know George Clooney's character in Michael Clayton? He worked for a big, prestigious law firm as a "fixer," hired to handle difficult situations on behalf of the firm's clients. Well, it just dawned on me that I am my family's "fixer." Granted, I'm not covering up murders caused by toxic argochemicals, but if there's a scheduling conflict between soccer and a birthday party or if we need to find an afterhours clinic that accepts our particular health care insurance card while someone is puking their guts out on the living room carpet at 2am, leave it to mom to work it all out.

My realization came about 45 minutes ago when I solved the Crisis Of The Day involving locating a notary to witness our home re-finance documents (btw - call your mortgage company asap! rates are crazy low). Anyway, the issue really was scheduling. Hubby is at work all day, as am I - waaaay across town (in another state, in fact. Or district, as it were). The problem is that almost every single notary operates only during business hours and it was going to be a task for both of us to get to a notary before 5pm. Complicating matters is the fact that Hubby's car starter died yesterday and so we are down to one car. So. This morning he took my car (which the nanny usually uses to drop the girls to school), dropped Chatterbox to school, me to the subway and then he drove to work. We tried to do the notary before work, but the banks didn't open until 9am and I had an 11am meeting, blah, blah, blah.

To make a long (and boring) story short, I was in a meeting all morning and so Hubby was the one trying to resolve the notary situation. He must have called me nine times (actually, he really did call 9 times - I just counted on my caller ID) trying to come up with a plan. And his plans were giving me a headache. For example, he suggested we both take the subway in the middle of the day and meet up at an inconvenient and hard-to-find notary location and then both take the train back to work. Then he would take my car to pick up Chatterbox, drop her at home with the nanny, Giggles and L'il Buddy, and then drive back to work. I would then take the train to the stop close to home where he would then drive to to pick me up and then we would drive home. Huh??? Didn't you get a headache just reading that? And that was just one iteration of his plan.

So after call #9, I couldn't take it anymore and decided to stop the madness. First, I called Chatterbox's school and asked if she could please stay in aftercare today. No problem. Second, I googled notaries close to the subway stop near my house and called and confirmed that one would be there this afternoon. Done. Then, I called Hubby and said: "Ok, here is what we are going to do. We are going to meet at the subway stop close to home at 4pm. You will drive my car there and pick me up. We will go to the notary and take care of the docs. Then we will pick up Chatterbox and go home for the day. Ok?" "OK!!" he says enthusiastically. Sheesh.

Tune in tomorrow for another episode of "Mom Saves the Day: And It's Not Rocket Science!"

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April 15, 2009

My Pusher is Relentless

Remember this post, where I told you all how my mom got me hooked on coffee?? Well she's coming to visit with my dad this weekend and she already sent me an email to make sure I was stocked up on supplies.
This woman is relentless!!

To: J. Jonesie
From: Mama
Subject: Hola Familia....

Hola familia,we're looking forward to see you guys in a couple more days. If by any chance you go to publix, please get some packs of your favorito drink(bustelo cafe). We're running out of it,capish? See you soon!!!!
Now, why does she need me to buy her "some packs" of the coffee you ask? Because they don't sell Bustelo where she lives. So as I mentioned before, she travels with my dad all over the place sampling, buying, and looking for her favorite cafe.


April 14, 2009

Identity Crisis

I'm having a bit of an identity crisis. And it's not the kind you think. You see, I have an online identity separate from my IRL identity. It all started when I first began blogging and chose to blog under an alias for a variety of reasons: to protect my family, to avoid embarrassment, to not jeopardize my job. But then, I joined Facebook for work reasons (no, really! I monitor new media and high-tech products to keep tabs on the business practices of technology companies). The problem is, that I joined FB waaaay back when you had to be invited to join through a network.

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April 13, 2009

We Don't Have to Be Friends

You know that forward that you got one time or another about girlfriends, some are here for a season, some are here forever, either way, when they are there, you love them? I know I'm doing a terrible job at describing it but you know the one, right? Anyhow, I've been thinking a lot about the friends I had in college, in law school, and even now as a "working professional" and I seem to have a very short list. In fact, I don't have many friends.

I don't know at what point this all happened. But I went from having so many girlfriends to having a handful of girls that I could truly call my girls. When did this happen? Did it happen when I was the first in my circle to get married or to have a baby?

I don't really know, but I am mature enough to say that I am totally okay with it. Some of my "friendships" are so superficial that I finally told myself to just let it go. Why pretend? Why keep it going? It's not like anything happened. We just grew apart, plain and simple.

We went from speaking occasionally, to speaking on holidays and birthdays, to maybe including that person in your mass "Merry Christmas" text sent to random people you know.

But here's what bothers me about superficial friends. They want you to be happy for them but you have a child or something and they don't even call you. You send them pictures of your kids, no response. You share some good news, no response. Finally, you no longer send them the news, right? Clearly they are not interested. They get a new job and I'm expected to send a plant for their office or something. And because I'm nice, I end up doing it. Then you don't even get a thank you for it? Tah!! I'm such a chump.

Why do girls do that? It seems like guys can go years without talking, then next thing you know they bump into each other on vacation somewhere and they are best of chums again.

Just my thoughts.

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April 09, 2009

Not the Most Appetizing Post, I Admit

Here's an underdiscussed baby bunching issue: WHEN YOU HAVE MULTIPLE KIDS, TRIPS TO THE BATHROOM RUN YOUR LIFE. Seriously.

I've always been aware of it, but I'm definitely noticing it more now that we're on vacation. No matter where we are or where we're going, we have to stop at take kids to the restroom (or change a diaper) a zillion times a day. It's gotten to the point where we automatically ask "Anybody need to use the potty?" anytime we approach an establishment that looks like it will have remotely sanitary facilities. And to be honest, it's driving me crazy!

First somebody has to pee. So we take them. We try to convince the other that they should "try" too so as to avoid a second trip for the second one soon after. Inevitably, the second child insists that they don't have to go and refuses to make the trip. Fast forward 20 minutes and sure enough, that one has to go. OR we drag the second one to the bathroom at the same time as the first and force them to go. It doesn't matter. Thirty minutes (ok maybe an hour) will go by and one or both has to go again. Throw in the baby's diaper changes and it's a wonder I get anything else done. Factor in the public restroom scenario (grimy, toilet paper shortage, each kid insisting on using their own cycle of the hand dryer) and you can see my frustration.

I just can't wait for the day when I'm not intricately involved in the bladder and bowel happenings of anyone but me!

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April 08, 2009

My Cutie Pie Kids Giveaway Winner

And the winner is......(drum roll please)

Smiling Mama !

You won a CUTE gift Smiling Mama!

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April 07, 2009

Alpha Mom, Zeta wife ... Beta mom, Beta wife

The issue of "Alpha Mom, Zeta wife" came up this morning on the Today Show and it caught my eye. I wish they had explored it some more by interviewing some women. But essentially the gist of the story is that we moms are striving so hard to be the perfect mom (everything to our kids) that we are totally neglecting our roles as wives (next to nothing for our husbands) and saving even less for ourselves.

Of course, I start thinking this story is a little cyclical because the underlying premise here is the same issue that they are somehow criticizing - that we've got to be perfect in every scenario because really if you want to be an alpha mom you should also want to be an alpha wife. This rise in awareness of alpha moms (or at least the terminology) has added more pressure to moms because let's face it, no one wants to be a "B" (at least not aloud) - most, if not all of us want to be an "A" (at least when we're in the company of others, right?).

However, the story took a bit of a strange twist at the end because rather than continuing down the road of contrasting alpha versus zeta, and continuing to put pressure on moms, they suggested the possibility of being satisfied being a beta mom and a beta wife.

OMG.....this is it!!!!! "Beta mom, Beta wife".

I felt as if this weight was lifted off my shoulders. Finally I feel the conversation turning from perfection (which we all know is absolutely ridiculous and stressful) to a more realistic picture. It made me think it's okay if I'm not the alpha, in fact, it's okay that I don't want to be an alpha. I felt like something was a little wrong and I dare not say aloud that I knew within myself that I didn't or couldn't be an alpha. I've tried (and TRIED) to be alpha and I think I failed terribly because I couldn't handle it. I wasn't able to have a nutritious dinner ready every night for a perfectly coiffed intelligent child who participated in 50 extra-curricular activities and was perfectly adjusted and had clean clothes to begin every week and whose room was perfectly decorated, all the while trying to provide the same and more for husband while also having a thriving career and looking fly all the time.

Not that I needed someone to tell me that it's okay to be beta ... but I did. Yesterday on Oprah (BTW...Blogalicious 2009 keynote speaker Karen Walrond was great) there was a discussion that we as moms put the pressure on each other and there is always that internal competition breeding between and among us. I think the rise of acceptance of the alpha mom terminology raised that competition to a different level. We would secretly assess ourselves based on how well our kids performed vis-a-vis other kids or how superficially happy our marriages appeared when we get together with our friends and co-workers.

For a long time I would assess myself (if I was being honest) as a beta mom, zeta wife. Really. I was trying and trying to do as much as I could for my daughter and I totally neglected my husband. I wasn't perfect in achieving anything with my daughter. In fact, she barely liked and expressed that a lot (read, almost every day). She would say to me, "I don't like you, I like daddy" and she's only 3! I was fussing and stressing so much in my effort to make things as perfect as I could in her world that she didn't like to be around me. Simultaneously I so neglected my marriage and my husband. We would go months without sex or even intimacy. Who am I kidding ... we would barely talk to each other. I don't know which came first, focusing on perfection for baby leading to neglecting hubby or was it because there was a space between hubby and I so I focused on daughter - I don't know.

But since being home now for about 7 weeks I've really re-evaluated everything. I'm so much happier doing my best - not perfect, just my best. I've tried to keep the house clean and food on the table and spend time with my daughter and with my hubby all the while accepting that there are days that I get some of those things done and others where I get none of those things done. I've accepted a position in my field but it's not at the stature that I had nor at the same income. I consciously decided that to be able to give and have for everyone and myself I needed to lower the bar. So, I think I've been living the beta mom, beta wife role for the past few weeks without even realizing it until this morning.

I hope this conversation will continue to turn the tide from alpha to beta. I'm happy that we can talk about being just "okay" at anything as opposed to being perfect at everything.

I support beta moms!!!

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April 06, 2009

"Who are all these kids and how did I get here?"

Who is that guy, and why is he making that crazy looking face? That's Hubby's cousin who showed up at our house Friday night for a "BBQ get together" however, when Hubby invited him, he failed to warn him that there was going to be about 15-20 kids at said BBQ. He's used to the usual suspects (aka, my kids) but who can blame this single, good looking guy, (ladies, email me for the digits) for not wanting to spend a Friday evening with a bunch of kids? I think he made this face when he heard one of us talking about giving birth, birth control, or poopy diapers. Could have been anything.

So why the big BBQ? Well, the Fergies flew to Florida for a visit to the Jonesies! We kicked off the weekend with a reunion BBQ with some friends we went to college with. It was such a blast. Everyone came with their kids, and those who didn't have kids of their own showed up with some. (Really, it was quite funny). At last count we had about 17 kids and maybe 12 adults? They totally out numbered us but we had plenty of drinks to make us not notice. I don't know who had more fun, the kids or the adults.

Now on to Fergie's picture here. I'm not quit sure what was going on or what was being said, but both Fergie and Little Buddy were not amused. Maybe more talk about birth? Again, who knows. Just thought I'd share that picture with you all.
Now for this picture of me below. That's me preaching to the choir (read - complaining about life as a working mom, our hubbies, or something like that). Can't quite remember what exactly it was that I was saying. At one point, the moms were planning a getaway and we were going to leave all the men to fend for themselves and the kids so that may have been me making the plans. We loved our kids too much to do that to them so we decided to stay. (Kidding)

And for the last picture. Those are some of our kids who snuck off to our new neighbor's house and decided to sit on their back patio and eat their food. Shoot me now, the neighbors just moved in a few weeks ago and they probably were in their home trying to see if they could get out of this deal somehow. We hardly throw parties so hopefully we haven't given them the wrong impression.

Okay, will fill you all in with some other details later. Need to catch up on some much needed rest!

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April 05, 2009

Big Announcement Part 3!

The exciting news just keeps rolling in! We are so (so!) thrilled to announce that Karen Walrond of the absolutely fabulous blog, Chookooloonks, is going to be the keynote speaker at BLOGALICIOUS 2009! Anybody who's anybody in the blogosphere knows just how major Chookooloonks is and we are tickled pink to have her share her experiences to the dynamic group of women that will be attending our event.

Karen is not only a talented engineer, accomplished attorney, and gifted photographer, writer and social media maven -- she's also a devoted wife and doting mother. In a word, she rocks. And in fact she rocks so much that she is going to be ON THE OPRAH WINIFREY SHOW TOMORROW, APRIL 6th!

I. Know.

KAREN IS GOING TO BE ON OPRAH TOMORROW, Y'ALL! The show is called "The Secret Lives of Moms" and she will be sharing her "secret life" with us. So please tune in to show her your support and join us in welcoming Karen to BLOGALICIOUS 2009!

Stay tuned for a flurry of new announcements coming your way this week. This event is going to be more awesome than we ever imagined!

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