Wednesday, July 27, 2011

What to Wear: BlogHer11 Edition

I am going to BlogHer in about two weeks. I wish an antacid company would sponsor my trip because I am pretty sure my stomach is rotting away with the amounts of acid swirling around. I could write a post about how nervous I will be knowing that I am almost the whole continental United States away from my family. I could write about the guilt that is bearing down hard about leaving my family. I could write about how certain social situations create a *touch* of anxiety.

But that is making my acid extra-swirly, so let’s talk about something fun:


I can’t decide exactly what to wear. I mean I narrowed it down to a few outfits all in the same color palette to minimize the shoes that I need to pack.

Oh, did mention I’m only doing a carry on? A certain airline that shall remain nameless (hint: they took over North West) decided to put our bags on a different flight for weight reasons. Twice. In a row. Can you believe that?! (And for the record, our bags were NOT fat; they were just full of necessities). So I am done with the checking of the bags conversations (just like Ben Stiller in Meet the Parents). Before I ask for your opinion on my outfits choices, take a second to answer my Skinny Scoop Survey about carry-on bags versus checked bags:

Before the fashion show begins, I would like to preface it with the following points:

  • I want to thank my photographer (my mom) who did not have an easy time snapping the pictures without The Babes sneaking in since they were running around like monkeys.

  • I had to fit this *very* informal photo shoot in after my morning walk and physical therapy appointment (which is another post altogether). So I am essentially wearing no makeup and my hair is a mess. (The good news is, since these pictures were taken, I got my roots taken care of).

  • My set design does include a laundry basket, an assortment of toys, and The Babes.  Obviously.

  • I want to be clear that I did not do my hair and makeup. Just a *gentle* reminder.

Tell me what you think of the outfits in the comments section.

Here's this outfit with a short sleeves shrug

Here is the same outfit with a long sleeved
shrug with a flower-y detail
Here's the same look with a different necklace
I was thinking of making this a conference
outfit with the casual shoes. . .
what do you think?
Or maybe add some fancy shoes and make it
a party dress?  I. Don't. Know.
Party dress for sure, but what do
you think of the necklace?  Too casual?
I thought this might be too casual for
the conference, but maybe it's OK?
Here's the same outfit without the shrug.
Maybe a travel outfit?
Travel outfit or conference outfit?
Here's the same look without the shrug.
Or maybe a short sleeve shrug?
I would love to have a personal stylist.

If you made it this far, thanks for playing!  You don't believe that I just *might* be overthinking this thing just a tad, do you?  Yeah, me neither.  I mean, I am home all day with my kids.  Anything will look stepped up next to my kahki shorts and T-shirt, right?

Please, please give me your input. I'll be sure to take lots of pictures of my outfits at the conference!

Have a great week!

Thursday, July 21, 2011


I love my navigation system on my phone. It’s like having this awesome friend who knows where to go and isn’t pissed when I have to ask for directions all the time. Nav (we are on a first name basis now) has helped me find my way from the depths of LA to the beautiful resort of St. Regis Monarch Beach of Dana Point. She helped me go all the way from my house to Chicago. When I make a wrong turn, I love how she gently mummers in her monotone voice, “Rerouting,” as she delicately redirects me to my destination.

She always has my back.

Last week, I talked about my recent parenting struggles in The Pool Incident. I was a bit nervous when I wrote this post and asked for help. The Internet can be a cold, hard crowd. And although I was writing about normal two year old behavior, I was totally not proud of my behavior of putting all the threats I could think of on the table.

But I am so glad I did write this post. Your comments helped me tremendously. They made me think, “Hell, yeah I need to do something about this.” I felt as if I was going down this path of being bulldozed by a two year old and all of his random, urgent whims.

Your comments rerouted me back to the path that I strayed from in fear of being mean mom. Your comments gave me clarity: there is nothing wrong with laying down the law. In fact, I *have* to lay down the law. I would be doing a great disservice if I didn’t.

So this week, I initiated time-outs when Thomas would not join us at the dinner table. I got down on his level, explained to him that although he didn’t have to eat, he had to sit at the table with us. I told him to stay on the bench for two minutes, and when I got back, he could either join us or think about it in another time out. I didn’t react. I didn’t threat. I didn’t take it personally. There were clear expectations. And guess what?

After three times, it worked. He joined up for dinner.

Consistency is not easy. But it works. (At least, this week it did).

Putting this post out there and all the comments I received reminded me why I love blogging so much: the sense of community. I am not the only one struggling with a strong willed two year old.

And for that, I thank you.

Have a great week!

Monday, July 18, 2011

And the Winner of the Thirty -One Giveaway is . . . .

Michelle!  Congratulations!

Thank you to everyone who participated!

Thank you, Beth, for donating your products for the giveaway.  It was so much fun!

Remember, if you need some Thirty-One products, please be sure to check out Beth's website at

Be sure to check out her blog Stape's House.  It is awesome!

In an unrelated note, thanks for all the feedback on my last post about "The Pool Incident."  I really appreciate it, and it's one of the reasons I love blogging so much: the sense of community.  Thank you so much!

Friday, July 15, 2011

“The Pool Incident”

Otherwise titled: We Are Going to Have Fun, Damn It!!

Before I get started, I want to thank everyone who participated in my Thirty-One Giveaway! I will announce the winner on Monday.

Last week, I created a Skinny Scoop survey based on “The Pool Incident.” Here are the responses:

Here’s the story behind the survey:

I took the Babes to the pool last week. It was a gorgeous, sunny day, and I like to make sure that I make the most of the $12 a month to add them to my gym account. I thought to myself, “What would be more fun than the pool. I know! Let’s bring the new underwater Ariel doll and floating fishies! That would totally make something fun even more fun. Yea, me!”

It was fun for all of five minutes. Because Thomas then wanted what Marie had. And when he had it, he threw it out of the pool. And I don’t know if you ever played with the underwater Ariel doll, but is hard plastic with hair that when flung about, whips water around like a sprinkler.

I reprimanded Thomas several times. He was not happy. At all. So I pulled out the big guns right away. I told him, “Cut this out. Sissy was playing with Ariel. You play with your fishiest and then you can trade. If you don’t stop, we’ll go home. Is that what you want? Do you want to go home?”

And he replies, “Yes. Go home now.”

What?! Are you serious? You were supposed to say no. Now what?!

So he walked by the door to go inside. And pouted. And crossed his arms. And turned his back to me. And refused to come on over to the pool. Here I am, sitting on the edge of the pool closest to the door while still sitting close to where Marie was playing in the shallow end. I felt like a friggin’ chameleon with one eye looking at Thomas and the other eye watching Marie.

I looked at him as he refused to sit by me in the pool. Then I looked at all the children frolicking around so joyfully while their perfectly bikini-cladded mothers sat peacefully admiring their children in the water.

I then did what any other mom would do.

I panicked.

I marched my tankini-self over to Thomas and first bribed him with Pirate’s Booty White Cheddar Cheese Puffs and cookies.

When that didn’t’ work, I began to threaten him. The list included but was not limited to the following:
- Pirate’s Booty
- No TV at bedtime
- No dessert after dinner
- No driver’s license when he turns 16

When that didn’t work, I just let him be. I let him whine and pout.

Finally, when I couldn’t take it anymore and it was time to apply more sunblock, we left. And guess what?

He cried to because he didn’t want to go home.

Can you believe that?

Thomas really turned on the water works because we were leaving to go home (something he had been whining to do for over an hour) and now there was no Pirate’s Booty or cookies.

I struggle with what to do in these situations. I hate to bribe. I hate to make threats (mostly because I hate having to follow through). I don’t feel comfortable yelling and spanking them into submission for a litany of reasons. Basically, I hate reacting; I rather be proactive.

I do want to keep his self-esteem intact. I want him to feel a connection between his behavior and choices. I feel like how I act in these situations sets the tone for later on. I don’t want him to think of himself as “bad” because I feel he will live up to that expectation. On the other hand, he just can’t throw shit everywhere and act like an animal. I won’t be doing him any favors by enabling his heathen behavior.

It’s just that he is so damn convincing with his tears and pouts that I am doing eternal damage to his soul.

But when I cave, he gives cuts the tears and gives me a look that I pretty much think that says says, “Sucker!”


What would you do?

And please don’t tell me boys will be boys. I have a post simmering on the back burner for this very saying that drives. Me. Crazy.

Have a great weekend! See you back on Monday when I announce the winner for the Thirty-One giveaway.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Summer Days – I’m going to Lighten UP with a Thirty-One Giveaway!

I will not lie; I’ve hit a few speed bumps during this week. Here’s a quick bullet list as to keep me from dwelling on it now. I will save them for a separate blog post. Obviously. (See title).

  • My epic search for the best non-toxic sunblock that does not smell like vomit *and* works (such high standards, I know)

  • Making sure I do the Kindergarten packet with Marie that includes about 207 points of interest

  • Reading an awesome and incredible, yet completely depressing book by Ashley Judd called Everything That is Bitter and Sweet (I love love love this book, and I greatly admire her strength in finding herself and setting personal boundaries all while going to the worst slums of developing nations; however, it’s just a little heavy for me at this time)

So here are the some fun things to lighten up all this drama:

  • BlogHer11 is a month away! Yeaaa! I cannot wait!

  • My garden is taking off and looking awesome!

  • And last but certainly not least, a giveaway!

My friend Beth at Stape’s House is a Thirty-One Gifts Director. She has been kind enough to let me try out the utility tote. Here it is:

The one she gave me is in the Pin Dots print.  I love it!  The one I will be giving away is in the Floral Celebration print.
Awesome for some summer fun!

Here are the rules:

Please leave a comment on this post about your favorite product Thirty-One product at

Here’s what you must do for extra entries. Please leave a comment on this post for each thing you did. Each comment is an extra entry:

- Become a fan of Mommy on the Spot on Facebook (or leave a comment if you already are a fan).
- Become a fan of Mommy on the Spot on Twitter (or leave a comment if you already are a fan).
- Become a fan of this blog.
- Become a fan of Stape’s House.
- Share this post on Twitter, Facebook, or any other social network site.

You must live in the continental U.S. The contest will start Thursday, July 7th and end on Saturday, July 14th midnight EST. The winner will be picked at random. I will announce the winner on Monday, July 13th.

Good luck, everyone!