Announcing the BlogHer'15 #MultiCulti!

Let's get the obvious out of the way first: I've been a bit overwhelmed lately, and it's been affecting my online presence. Blog? Yeah, I got one go those. I keep meaning to post and with good reason because so many awesome things are going on AT THE SAME TIME. Which, coincidentally, has a lot to do with the Being Overwhelmed Thing. But more on that later. For now, let's get to just one of the updates I've been meaning to share!

You guys? The #MultiCulti is BACK for the third year at BlogHer'15 in New York. I am beyond excited to be co-hosting this incredible community shindig with my inspiring #MultiCulti sisters, Ananda Leeke and Dwana Delacerna. To be asked to return as cohostess for the same event with the same amazing women is flat out just fucking amazing.

We will, of course, be featuring food from around the world in our Hilton suite and a playlist featuring your musical suggestions. And what would the party be without the infamous BlogHer MultiCulti Extravaganza Cocktail?

(And yes, thank you very much for asking. I am quite proud I made it to the end of the second paragraph before dropping my first F Bomb.)

The success of the MultiCulti cocktail I dreamed up -- with The Husband's help, of course -- was just the icing on the proverbial cake that I'm probably allergic to. The cocktail, actually, is the reason I'm writing this. You see, I didn't just throw alcohol in a glass and ice it without thought before tossing it back and calling it good. (Although that's not entirely a bad idea.) No way, y'all. The MultiCulti was all about celebrating all that makes us who we are and the cultures and cultural identities we call our own. The cocktail had to reflect that. And then it had to actually taste good. I've got standards, y'all. As a former waitress and bartender, my street cred was totally on the line.

Here's what I (ahem- we) came up with:

BlogHer MultiCulti Cocktail

Non-Alcoholic Version

Equal Parts:

  • Coconut Water
  •  Pomegranate Juice
  •  Blueberry Juice
  •   Apple Juice
  •  White Grape Juice
  • A splash of club soda

 

The Breathalyzer Version?

* Add two splashes of Malibu Rum 

So why this particular mix? So glad you asked, Internet!

* Coconut Water is and has historically been a popular drink in the tropics, especially India, the Brazilian Coast, Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands, Africa, and the Caribbean.

* Pomegranates are considered to have originated in the vicinity of Iran and have been cultivated since ancient times. Today the pomegranate is also grown throughout the Mediterranean, Africa, parts of southeast Asia, and in Arizona and California here in the United States. It's also important to note that the pomegranate was introduced to Latin America and California by Spanish settlers in 1769.

* Blueberries and are native to North America with Michigan and Maine coming out on top. Funny thing? I was born in Detroit and I now live in Maine. 

* Apples originated in Central Asia and have been grown for thousands of years in Asia and Europe. The saying "As American as apple pie" didn't exist until European colonists showed up on American shores. Apples also have a major role in Norse, Greek, and Christian traditions and mythology.

* Grapes have a pretty impressive history dating back up to 8,000 years ago in Western Asia. And the oldest winery was found in Armenia dating to around 4000 BC. Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics show grapes cultivated for wine, and historians tell us that Greeks, Phoenicians, and Romans grew purple grapes for both eating and wine production. Eventually, grape cultivation made its way to other regions in Europe, North Africa, and North America.

* Rum has a hefty history and plays a part in the culture of most islands of the West Indies as well as in the Canadian Maritimes and Newfoundland. It's been associated with The Royal Navy, the principal naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces, as well as piracy. Rum also was used as a form of currency to help fund organized crime, slavery, and even the American Revolution. Today rum is produced everywhere from Belize and Colombia to Australia, Canada, and Fiji.

See? Awesome, right?

Now, I can't say what's in store for the MultiCulti at #BlogHer15, because we're still in planning mode. One thing I can say, though, is that the MultiCulti is not our party. It's yours. We want you to own this party.

How do you do that?

* Hashtag the hell out of #Multiculti on your social media channels in the days leading up to the party

* Write  blog post sharing what multiculturalism means to you

* Post a #multiculti pic celebrating the Heinz 57 mix that makes you...you and share that bad boy all over your social media channels. 

* Tweet me with a favorite song (or 10) for a chance to have it included in the official #multiculti playlist we will be jamming to during the actual party. Everyone who suggests a song will be entered into a contest for a special prize to be announced soon. Hit me up on twitter (@pauline_campos) with the party hashtag, your song title, and the artist name to be eligible. Entries will be accepted until midnight, EST, on July 12. 

* Check out BlogHer's Community Party Plan for Friday, July 16. We'd love to see you!

And, of course, join me and the growing #chingonafest community during our weekly Wednesday night twitter chats, at 10 PM, EST. We'll be talking about the importance of celebrating diversity in our personal (and social media)! I may even have a surprise or two to give away during the chat. Use #BlogHer14 #MultiCulti & #Chingonafest in your tweets, and follow me, Ananda, and Dwana for some fun conversation! The #chingonafest hashtag may be culturally specific, but the spirit behind it is universal. That means we all get to play together in the sandbox.(Click here for my Latina Magazine column that served as my inspiration for #chingonafest!)

I'm looking forward to so much in the coming week, and I know you are, too. 

Cheers, y'all!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bring Your Own Transitions

A few observations as I sit down today for the FIRST TIME to work:

*24 is not enough of anything. Especially when referring to cupcakes and hours. 

* it's 10:36 pm. Good thing I moonlight as a normal human who wakes with the sun and .... What? Not buying it? Yeah. Me, neither. 

* It's entirely possible to get so far behind oneself that's one can check out one's own ass. Beyoncé ain't got nothin' on what I'm looking at right now. Oh hell no. 

* Living in the wilderness is great when avoiding holiday family drama. 

* Living in the wilderness sucks Ginormous Huevos when trying to revise a book, launch a site, homeschool a kid, shower, have sex not involving batteries, or sleep. Why? Because wild moose are notoriously shitty baby sitters and you're left to balance the world on your shoulders. This is harder than it sounds because...

* You're already breaking a sweat trying to keep all the plates spinning with one hand while not spilling any vodka out of the bottle you're holding with the other.

* An iPhone 6 plus is a beautiful thing. (Keep up with me here, people. There's no time to dawdle on pesky details like transitions here.) 

* That Friendly Facebook app I downloaded because it promised to always be nice to me and let me think less is *not* a beautiful thing because beautiful things are not battery sucking vampires.

* Logging into and out of multiple Facebook accounts is a gigantic pain in my bootylicious ass.

* Why's everybody hating on battery sucking vampires? WHAT DID THEY EVER DO TO YOU, HUH??? WHAT???

* Relaunching a website that means the world to you while revising a debut book and fulfilling a lifelong dream, while noble, is also proof of insanity and will hold up in court. 

*  All the good things you've ever wanted in life can, and will, happen at the exact same fucking time. 

* All the good things you've ever wanted in life can, and will, happen at the exact same fucking time is actually Swahili for What Else could Go Wrong?

* Only stupid people, usually attached to silicone and questionable acting skills, ever ask that question....

* Right before the serial killer says BOO And they get their totally reasonable camping stilettos caught in the mud created by the sprinkler that appeared out of nowhere, thereby losing their balance and tripping, headfirst, into the wood chipper. 

* The serial killer now feels cheated and doesn't have time to remind you about the BYOT (Bring Your Own Transitions) rule for the parties he hosts.

* Which means there'll be a prequel to explain how his mother loved him a little too much. 

* It should be noted that the wood chipper most likely was stored with the sprinkler. 

* SHHHH. stop. Don't think. Logic is not your friend in times like this. 

* Unless you're the only remaining character who is now guaranteed at least one bad sequel.    

* Sleep is for pussies. 

* Motherhood is not for the weak. 

* Why aren't there any support groups with sponsors and 12-step programs called Partners of Creative People? 

* The Husband has forgotten what sex is, which is for the best until the revisions on BabyFat are completely and totally done and my editor signs off on my sanity. 

* I may or may not have called him BabyFat while last in the throes of passion. 

* I hate writers who share updates like Thank You Supportive Family and Friends for Taking Care of my Previously Feral Children While I Revised this Book. 

* And by hate I actually mean I want to be them. 

* Blogs don't write themselves. 

* Writing a book is hard. 

* Revising and revising and revising and PLEASEGAWDJUSTMAKEitSTAHP without losing my shit is harder. 

* I want my mommy. 

* She's pretty badass, having once pushed me out of her vagina and then being gracious enough to let me get all the glory in every anniversary of the day her lemon pushed out a watermelon. 

* I will never eat watermelon again. 

* or cabbage. 

* The cabbage thing Jeanne's fault

* Now I want to make a reverse birthday card that reads "Thanks For Pushing Me Out of Your Vagina, Mom!" 

* Tthe last man who said I had all the time in the world for book writing, living in Maine and homeschooling one child, is still living. 

* I have incredible restraint. 

* Thanks to my imaginary court approved insanity defense, the next one is getting a boot up his ass. 

* It's now 11:39 pm. 

* I need to revise.

* I need to plan world domination, which includes a podcast and gaining public interest.  

*i just wrote a blog post instead. 

Pinktified: In Defense of Makeup

Our girls can't be bossy anymore because leadership skills don't sound bitchy

We can't let them play with barbies because they promote unhealthy body image and Princess culture is too pink. 

Pink? Yeah. About that. It's gender confirming and we are sending them straight to the therapist if we let them like it. 

We shouldn't tell them they are pretty because they'll grow up to think pretty is all they are and that their brains don't matter and their bodies are the It Factor for how they are and will be perceived physically. Pink will become the entire basis of their self-worth and we just can't have that now, can we?

Makeup is the new evil - which sounds way more sinister than Orange Being the New Black - because we are supposed to love ourselves as we are and Hello Bad Example for the Littles!

Dolls don't encourage critical thinking and are bad for self-esteem and will never be the reason a future engineer decided to pursue a fulfilling career.

High heels are sexist and only feed into the ideal that women dress for men and sex is the only thing that sells, so skip the plastic princess heels and hand her something - ANYTHING AND DO IT QUICK, DAMMIT - that isn't Pink, Frilly, Princessy, to steer her back in the "right" direction which, I might add, is NOT the girly pinkified toy section at Toys R Us. 

Ya know what? I'm sick of it. Tired of having to defend the pink my kid declared her favorite color when she was two even though her father and I painted her nursery a gender neutral shade of green. I'm done with Bossy/Bad Leadership Skils/Good because you guys? IT'S ALL BULLSHIT

Don't get your panties in a bunch, people. I tell her she's pretty AND smart because Jenni Chiu said to. I buy her the pink because she wants it and tell her she can go right on ahead wearing her frilly tutu over her riding pants and I don't get pissy it gets muddied up and smells like horse at the end of her lessons. And she plays with her dolls before she sits down to read fucking Shakespeare because she's almost 8 and she's fucking brilliant and she knows it and that's okay, too. 

Maybe for some girls, Barbie triggers feelings that need to be addressed and therefore should be avoided (and maybe it's not Barbie because Deflecting Barbie isn't A Thing yet). Maybe pink is too girly for the girls who are anything but. Maybe makeup is a disguise for the insecure and maybe that little girl running recess like a military training camp is perhaps being a total bitch and YES IT IS OKAY TO TELL HER TO STOP BEING SO DAMNED BOSSY. 

But you know what? Maybe Nicki from Nickie Tutorials is right. Her video, posted above, got me all riled up for the right reasons. Thing is, this brain-numbing mindset is not just limited to makeup. It's everything. The love of pink does not mean your girl will never aspire to be amazing. Wearing makeup isn't going to teach her that she's only worth YOUR approval when she's all glammed up unless that's how you feel and she picks up on that vibe. Our kids, and I mean both our girls and our boys, are brilliant little people who pick up on our inner workings and take a piece of that as part of the foundation of their future selves. 

If you think you're a fat ass and food is bad and skinny is good, we've got a problem. If you tell her it's okay to love her body as it is while polishing off a dozen cupcakes because your feelings taste like chocolate then her feelings will taste like chocolate, too, and emotional eating will rule her life like the cruel master that any and all eating disorders are. If you tell her to love her body and she grows up with a healthy self image and happens to not be a size zero as an adult, you are not promoting fatness and encouraging her to never strive for whatever healthy means for her and her body type. 

If you criticize yourself in front of them, even if you're just frowning at your reflection in the mirror while sucking in your gut, they are listening even when we think they are not and its that voice - OUR VOICE - that they hear in their heads telling them they aren't good enough now and probably won't be - not now and not ever - when they find themselves standing in front of a mirror ten years from now. 

And if we keep going this way, we are only circling right back to that place where pretty, skinny, perfect, and pink actually were words that meant out girls had to hide their smarts because no boy would want them; where dolls were for girls because they were considered too delicate and fragile to run wild through the grass barefoot with the boys, and where her future as a doctor would have been traded for her future as the pregnant house wife with no aspirations other than to make more babies and have dinner in the table when her husband arrives home from his day at the office. 

We need to stop, you guys. We need to stop limiting this celebrating of ourselves to not include anything we may think does not fit our personal description. We need to stop criminalizing what we think is holding us back because in doing so, we are telling the Girly Girl that she's not as fabulous as the Sporty Girl and the Princess Girl that she can't be a Super Hero Princess and Tutu Lover that Tutus are Bad because she loves tutus and that must mean SHE is bad when she's not and... they aren't and you aren't and I'm not because OHMYFUCKINGGAWD!!! 

I'm the mother of a pink-loving, tutu-wearing, always bossy/sometimes bitchy, Chingona Princessy Future CEO of whatever the hell she wants to be and I'm proud. And guess what? So is she.

You can go right on ahead telling your Jock Girl that she doesn't have to wear pink if she doesn't want to. Because she doesn't have to. You can skip the makeup of it makes you feel like you aren't you with it on. Because you are the best you when you feel comfortable with the face looking you back in the mirror. 

When my kid is putting on her best game face while posing in a super hero stance in her Wonder Woman bathing suit and positioning her head just so as to keep her sparkly tiara from falling to the floor, please leave your opinion out of the picture I'm taking, capturing the moment my little girl is every bit the person she is meant to be

BabyFat: Vote for the Cover Design!

For the new kids in class, let  me simply say I am the most indecisive woman in the world. New restaurants and menus are potential marriage wreckers, second guessing always means I made the wrong choice the second time, and asking the waitess to take back the meal I hated and bring me the one I said I wanted to try first instead mean that desiging the BabyFat: Adventures in Motherhood, Muffin Tops, & Trying to Stay Sane cover is like watching a tennis match between two crazed squirels.

I love my designer, Michelle from Fresh Design, and I think we need to be friends In Real Life. But before I ask for her address to exchange Christmas cards, I figure I'd better get her a final answer on the bool cover.

That's where YOU come in, Internet. Let's not pretend here. I suck at making decisions and you know it. The easisest way to resolve this situation is for you to help me make the final decision because narrowing down to the baby tush concept was hard enough and I can't make any more decisions this month or my brain may implode.

So you get to choose, Internet. 

Which cover do you think says New York Times Best Seller? 

Here's the deal, Internet: I will choose the cover that YOU choose. Each one shown here has its own appeal, ands while I do have a favorite or two, I'm not at all set on one over the rest. Considering my publisher's desire to get BabyFat actually published and in your hands -- a desire I fully support, by the way -- I figured I needed to own up to my lack of ability to make Actual Decisions to keep this train on track.

So vote! And if your're interested in joining my #BabyFat Street Team to help get the word out about my book, send me an email to aspiringmama@gmail.com (subject line: #BabyFat Street Team), friend me on Facebook, or tweet me with the hashtag so we can make All the Noise together! (Speaking of All Things BabyFat, did you submit your tweet to appear in the book yet???) 

I can't wait to see which you choose, y'all. Also? I'd been wondering when one stands on their probverbial mountain top to share with the world how she nearly fell down dead when Jenny Lawson agreed to blurb my book, but I guess that cat's outta the bag now. File this one under: It Never Hurts to Ask and Anybody Who Says Social Media Friends Aren't Real is An Asshole with No Friends on Social Media. 

ChingonaFest Fridays: Eliana Mercedes

Welcome to WEEK 26 of #ChingonaFest Fridays on Aspiring Mama. If you’re new to the blog, here’s the link to the my Latina Dimelo column that sparked the conversation that’s still going strong. The premise is this: I want to raise my daughter to be a Chingona — on purposeLas Tias and cultural backlash be damned. If you like the column, I’d love for you to share with your social media circles, leave a comment on the link, or whip up a happy lil’ Letter to the Editor telling them how you feel and send it off to Editor@Latina.com. You may not think that kind of thing makes a difference, but trust me when I tell you that it does.

Have you checked out my past #ChingonaFest ladies?  @Ana-Lydia Ochoa Monaco and Ane Romero were two of the most recently featured wonder women. Each week, I’m featuring one fabulous Latina who’s moving mountains and raising hell because their stories are worth telling. Twenty questions will be presented to each and 15 will be answered and presented here to you in a Q&A format, like the fancy features in magazines, only with more typos and less airbrushing.

Today’ featured Chingona is a special one and I think you'll like getting to hear more about how the original chingona's fabulous little brain works. I'm featuring Eliana Mercedes today as a nod to my recent inclusion in the From Her Art Exhibit through the El Pueblo National Monument in Los Angeles, which actually just closed up. I am honored to have had my photograph, Mexican in Maine, selected for the juried show, and as the subject of the photo, I thought Eliana deserved a bit of limelight for so patiently dealing with a camera in her face almost every waking moment. Don't forget to follow her on twitter and instagram!

I'd also like to thank Julia Carillo of Soy Chingona jewelry for sponsoring this week's #ChingonaFest post! Check out Julia's sassy line of Pretty Things at Soy Chingona, and follow her on Instagram and twitter! Email at at aspiringmama@gmail.com for details on how your website or business can be featured!

So let’s get to that interview!

My photograph, (The unblurry version, anyway) Mexican in Maine, features a pinata made by the other Mexican in Maine, Paula Daulk, from Mainely Pinatas  --- and to answer your question, YES she ships!

My photograph, (The unblurry version, anyway) Mexican in Maine, features a pinata made by the other Mexican in Maine, Paula Daulk, from Mainely Pinatas  --- and to answer your question, YES she ships!

Pauline Campos: Chocolate or vanilla?

Eliana Mercedes: Chocolate

PC: Good. Now that we've proven you are my child, it's time for the next question. Favorite book and why?

EM: Favorite book? I would say I have no idea. Spiderwick?

*Daddy interjects with What about Whatever book I am currently reading?"

Okay. Whatever book I am currently reading.

PC: Yep. That sounds about right/. What's your favorite quote?

EM: Yourself is yourself and who can argue with that? I said that on your podcast. Your friends think I'm adorable.

PC:  We'll have to work on your confidence, I see Describe yourself in third person.

EM: I have no idea what third person is.

PC: And your language arts. Who inspires you?

EM: Everyone?

PC: Are you asking me? Who is it you hope to inspire?

EM: Everyone?

PC: Uh-huh... Do you dream in color or black and white?

EM: Sometimes color and sometimesd black and white. So there's really no pacific answer to that.

PC: No, no I don't sup[pose there would be. What's your favorite dish? Why?

EM: Macaroni and cheese. I think you see why I am saying that, correct?

PC: Because I asked you a question and you decided to answer it with a giant hint telling me I don't serve you enough cheese-covered carbohydrates No, it's okay You don't have to answer that? But this one you do...You have the chance to eat dinner and drink wine with one person, living or dead. Who is it, what do you eat, what kind of wine, AND WHY THAT PARTICULAR PERSON?

EM: Princess Katie. We would eat ice cream. Probably rainbow flavored. I can't have wine because you said it's only for mamas. I'd serve chocolate milk, chilled, of course. I'm not picky. Store bought or homemade is fine.

PC: Princess rock stars are the absolute best. Do you chew your ice cream? (Or is that just a Me thing?)

EM: I chew it. Doesn't everybody? Chewing is pretty much a human thing.

PC: That's what I keep asking the internet and they keep looking at me like I'm crazy! Why are you looking at me like I'm crazy? Never mind. Describe your perfect day.

EM: A perfect day would be getting a horse, probably pretty reasonably because, yaknow?

PMC: No, not exactly. But m'kay...Would you rather be a unicorn or a Pegasus. Why?

EM: I'd rather be an alicorn.

PC: Of course you would. If you could wish for three things what would they be? And no, you cannot use one of the wishes for three more wishes.

EC: A horse, a unicorn, and a pagasus. Because I could then wish for a alicorn because I'd have a unicorn.

PC: You're smarter than me, aren't you? I'm so totally screwed. What do you want to be when you grow up?

EC: A fairy who has a mermaid tail. Wait. No. Someone who owns a horse.

PC: That's what you get for growing six inches the same summer we bought you a pony that was perfectly sized for you...six inches ago. Moving on...if you were a fairy, what would your magical power be?

EC: The power to do everything, yaknow?

PC: Yeah. I totally know.

Email me at dimelo@latina.com!

Email me at dimelo@latina.com!

And there ya have it. To nominate a Latina for a future #ChingonaFest Friday feature, email me ataspiringmama@gmail.com or tweet me with the hashtag #ChingonaFest. And don’t forget to check out my latest Dimelo Advice Column in Latina Magazine. New questions are being saved for the print magazines, so send me ALL THE GOOD STUFF for the sassy solicited advice y'all love so much that you stop me in public bathrooms to talk shop to dimelo@latina.com.

Think this'll look badass on a throw pillow or travel mug? Cuz You're right!

Think this'll look badass on a throw pillow or travel mug? Cuz You're right!

I've been busy stocking my new Red Bubble shop with lots of pretty awesome stuff! Also check out my blog store under the Pauline Campos Studios tab!

Follow me on Twitter, instagram, and here’s the FB fan page! I know. You’re *welcome.*

 

Oh, and TUMBLR, Y’ALL!

Follow me and validate my existence.

Sign up for The Tortilla Press Newsletter! And stay tuned. The weekly #Chingonafest twitter party and podcast will be resuming soon!

Follow me on Twitter, instagram, and here’s the FB fan page!

Forward, always.

Together… stronger.

 

On Truth and Drumsticks: The Reboot

I wrote this four or five years ago. I'm sharing it today because I'm still trying to get to the point where All of This is moved to the Past Tense portion of my writing repertoire. But I'm human. Just like you. And the one thing we are good at is making mistakes. At least, maybe, the lessons we learn from the mistakes we keep making are meant for more than just me and you. Rinse. Lather. Repeat. 

Crying Girl in Black and White by Pauline Campos

Crying Girl in Black and White by Pauline Campos

"It's time to exercise, baby," I call to Eliana. "Did you want to play or workout with Mama?"' She's in the playroom she has dubbed her "magical land," but immediately joins me at my side and waits for the DVD to cue up. "Are we going to get healthy and strong?"

I smile. "Exactly."

***

When I was a baby, my thighs were so chubby that one of my aunts used to pretend to eat them like drumsticks. It's a story I heard often when I was growing up, usually told with the requisite giggles from my mother and a pinch on my legs from whoever else was within reach. I thinned out as I grew, but I never thought myself skinny. Instead, "big" was how I classified my body. "Big" as in I was five feet one inch tall at eight years old. The same height as my mother and almost every other adult woman in my family. "Big" as in not dainty with curves that snuck up on my when I was 12 and muscle definition that would have put me in the "athletic" category. But that word didn't exist in the Spanglish craziness my family resided in. Instead, children were scolded for not finishing what was on their plate and reprimanded for needing to watch what they were eating, usually in the same breath.

I remember very clearly the day my father notices my new set of hips. I weighed 156 pounds and stood 5'6'' tall. I wore a size 10 and only now realize I only thought that was a bad thing because my mother never shut up about the size 6 she could still squeeze into after five kids. If I could wake up with that body today?

A'ye, M'ijita.

My father, who stood no taller than me, pinched the curve of my hip.

"You need to lose some weight."

***

I started making myself throw up after watching a news special about a woman caring for eating disordered girls in her revolutionary treatment center. The point of the special was to enlighten and educate on the dangers of easting disorders and the needs of those suffering. I took it as a how-to manual.

Sometimes I wonder if my actions are the cause of the body I see in the mirror today. The hypoactive thryroid. The polycystic ovarian syndrome. The number on the scale. I was skinny before when I thought I was fat. Just because I was the only set of ethnic hips in the sea of curve-less white wonders I went to school with, I thought that meant I needed to better control what I was eating. And because I had failed at being an anorexic previously, the consolation prize was closet bulimia. If I didn't have the control to not eat, I could at least force my body to get rid of the evidence.

I should have just opened my eyes.

***

My daughter is three and often confused for a five-year-old. She's built like her father's side of the family; tall and lean. My nickname for her is "Little." And I skip the word "fat" when it's included in any of the books I read to her.

""She's so big for her age," strangers often say when they realize how young she actually is. I always smile and gently correct them, whether or not she is paying attention.

"Yes," I say, "She's very tall."

***

We eat clean; no processed sugar, no processed foods, and are gluten free, to boot. For dessert she'll choose watermelon over an ice cream sundae. (At least for now.) And because I can't control what the rest of the world says or what she will hear, I try to side step any of the emotional triggers adults verbalized when I was a kid.

If she refuses to eat a meal after two bites of food, instead of force feeding, I simply ask if she would like a cookie. If she says yes, I tell her that she has room for more of her meal if she has room for a cookie. If she says no, I believe her and take her plate away. I never criticize my own body in front of her. And I never diet. Instead, we all eat what's best for out bodies.

And exercise?

Maybe the truth behind the sweat and the time commitment is that I would like to lose a few more pounds and firm up my muffin-top belly. Maybe I'd like to feel as beautiful as The Husband tells me I am (and sometimes, I do.)  But I'll be damned if I say any of that out loud to a three-year-old who thinks it's funny to arch her back and stick her belly out after a good meal.

We are exercising to get healthy and strong.

And one of these days, after saying it enough to her, maybe I will believe that myself.

On Thanking My Mother for that Time She Pushed Me Out of Her Vagina

Thanks, MOM! 

Thanks, MOM! 


First I'm going to tell you that I have other More Important Things to write about but I've also been a giant chicken lately about writing anything Of Actual Importance, so I'm going to instead distract us all with typos and literary wit. 

Yes, mine. Don't believe me? I once shanked my BFF and told The Husband I was putting on lipstick for a lesbian dinner, both via text message and very probably on the same day, and they will vouch for my truthiness. Also? neither story is as funny as the time I once wrote myself out of the PR job I was applying for. Turns out referring to oneself as an Expert in Pubic Relations is frowned upon when the job in question actually has more to do with Relating to the Public than it does empowering gynecologists to feel good about their life choices, but whatever. I'd have hired me just for the laugh, but I'm obviously unprofessional like that.

I told you I've got two books coming out with my publisher, right? If not, I do. And if I did, pinch me and I'll bitch slap you but totally tell me it's real and tell me often because surreal is still a ginomormous understatement. BabyFat: Adventures in Motherhood, Muffin Tops, and Trying to Stay Sane is the eventual overnight sensation that took five years to get fucking published, so of course I'm over-thinking All The Things 'cuz wouldn't YOU?

I am sitting here freaking the FUCK out about the very problem I have wished for my entire life to have. I could be writing about So Many Things, y'all. And I will. Just not today because my BabyFat editor just sent me an email that included projected dates for final edits and blurbs and I am so very afraid of forgetting Obvious and Important People in the Acknowledgment Page, like my mother for that time she pushed me out of her vagina. 

I need tips. I want examples. Which books did you love that also had a kickass thank you page? Tell me Everything! WRITE ME AN OVER THE TOP ACKNOWLEDGMENT THANKING YOUR MOTHER FOR BEING BORN RIGHT IN MY COMMENTS JUST TO MAKE ME FEEL BETTER.

And Mom? I'm being totally serious about the Being Born thing and the Utter Importance of your vagina in the writing of this book. So, thank you. I love you. Don't worry, I'll call you tomorrow to read this to you on the phone because it's just easier than explaining what a blog is. 

World Water Day: Forgotten Luxuries

My daughter hates to miss out on anything. Since she was teeny tiny, Eliana has fought every nap down to the last yawn. What if something happened while she slept? Something always did, she knew, because shadows move with the sun and love grows with every smile.
She wanted to see it -- all of it. But when it's yourself you are fighting, it's hard to make the call on winners and losers. 

This silk scarf from World Vision is a beautiful reminder for World Water Day, March 22.

This silk scarf from World Vision is a beautiful reminder for World Water Day, March 22.

 

Things got more interesting as she grew. Eliana's determination to Be Present for every moment in every situation made it perfectly clear that this child possesses the bladder of a camel. She can go hours without a potty break and even longer without a drink of water or a bite of food...especially when playdates are involved. We ended up in the emergency room twice because of it. Her body had had enough of this Being Ignored business, and little girl was learning the hard way. Mother Nature and God were very smart in how they designed our bodies to show and tell us when we are tired and when we are thirsty and when it's time to find a bathroom, I told her, but none of it does us any good if we refuse to listen to our bodies when they are trying to talk to us. World Vision recently asked me to participate in World Water Day awareness in a continued effort to bring clean water to the 748 million people who live without it. That's equivalent to nearly two-thirds of the U.S. population. When I learned that one child under the age of 5 dies every minute from diarrhea caused by contaminated water and unsafe hygiene, I looked at my daughter and realized how lucky we both are...and how much work there is to be done.

What if, I thought, it wasn't up to her? What if she went without stopping for a drink of water to quench a never-ending thirst -- not because she was too busy being a kid -- but because it was unsafe to drink?

Take a look at World Vision’s clean water video for an inside look at the impact of the water crisis in one girl’s life. And then stop, for just a moment, and realize how very lucky you really are.

What if, I thought, it wasn't up to her? What if she went without stopping for a drink of water to quench a never-ending thirst -- not because she was too busy being a kid -- but because it was unsafe to drink?

Take a look at World Vision’s clean water video for an inside look at the impact of the water crisis in one girl’s life. And then stop, for just a moment, and realize how very lucky you really are.

World Water Day is March 22. Give, tweet, share an update on Facebook, and make a difference in the life of someone without the luxury of clean water.

* Disclosure: World Vision provided me with one Royal Silk Scarf (retail) value of $95, in exchange for this post. Although appreciative, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Please note that I have donated $50 for the gift of clean water to one person through World Vision to do my part to support World Water Day.