AppleDogs and Story Pirates

Social media has made me a parental super hero. Ever since Eliana was a little thing, twitter and Facebook and (more recently) instagram have connected me to an entire world to which I wouldn't otherwise have access. (And yes, I almost ended this sentence with the word "to" but then the voice of a former newspaper editor said something in my head about unicorns dying, so I changed it to read like I actually follow proper grammar on a regular basis. Also? I like unicorns. Anyway....)

Princess Katie of Princess Katie and Racer Steve (have your volume off when you click the link if you're at work) once tweeted a FEEL BETTER in response to my update about Eliana being sick. I'm pretty sure the wide-eyed wonder in Eliana's face as she blinked up in pure disbelief while I read PK's well-wishing tweet is what cemented my role in the Parenting Hall of Fame. Not only did PK know who I was, she knew who Eliana was because of me. And because Eliana had no concept of twitter or followers or what in God's name a social media update was -- and because I handle almost all of my SoMe updates on my iPhone -- the tweet became a text and that meant that Princess Katie Had My Phone Number.

That means I win at Parenting, y'all.

Since then, I've been asked to text Santa her Christmas list, the Tooth Fairy to let her know another tooth was loose, the Easter Bunny to let him know we moved, and countless other Magical Beings about countless other Magical Things. On the flipside -- and because Mama is gonna milk this for as long as she can -- I've stopped tantrums in their tracks and witnessed Feats of Perfect Behavior during Otherwise No Good Very Bad Days  simply by muttering something about how Santa just texted a poll to parents asking their thoughts on how many pieces of coal should appear in stockings for the kids on the Naughty List.

I'm an evil genius and you're welcome.

Not too long ago, maybe around the time we launched Eliana's blog that we don't have the time to post on as often as I'd like, texts became tweets and instagram became AppleDog and the Story Pirates nominated me for Best Mom on the Internet. Okay, so not really. But they should and I'd totally be gracious and surprised if they actually did because I'm modest like that. Also? I probably deserve a cookie for making it 400 words without saying a bad word so you're welcome for that, too.

Back to the AppleDog story...I took a picture, Eliana asked me to tell the Story Pirates on AppleDog so they could see the picture, too, and they did AND RESPONDED.  Had it ended there, I'd still be just as giddy as the day I realized I could use my iPhone addiction as a peace negotiator with The Guardians. But then this happened....

No seriously...where's my tiara?

I have no words for how awesome today was made simply because of this exchange. It highlighted to me exactly why the Story Pirates are the phenomenon they have become with the kids who listen to their podcast, check in on Kids Place Live, or are lucky enough to see them perform in person. The concept is brilliantly simple and beautifully executed: kids write their own stories, submit to the Story Pirates for consideration, and if selected, the story is turned into a play and PERFORMED on air or on stage. If not? The Story Pirates have been known to write a kind word or two on the back of submitted stories before sending them back to the hopeful playwrites. It's creative inspiration, acknowledgement, and the fostering of literary love all wrapped in glittery awesomeness.

Today's update from the Story Pirates wasn't just a feather in my parenting cap. It was the moment Eliana realized she has a voice.

Plus I totally have Santa Clause on speed dial now...so sorry about that tantrum your kid just threw in the toy store.

Moo says the Blogging Lady

I'm not stressed or anything. I may have forgotten to send a check to my accountant with my tax return info months ago and he may have just realized that he meant to call me. And I may have just dropped a small fortune on business cards from Moo.com for BlogHer and may have paid the rush fee because BLOGHER IS HAPPENING LIKE TOMORROW and there's a lot of planning going on for the MultiCulti Extravanganza, y'all.

But it will be worth it.

In any case, my kid is a blogger now. Go look. She'll be giddy. Tweet her, even. She'll read what you say and I'll help her type a response.

And if you need business cards? I've got a snazzy discount code for you that gives you $10 off your first order and gets me some money off the next time I have to sell my soul to pay for the prettiest little business cards I've ever laid eyes on.

You're welcome.

 

Super Starry Stars and Names in Hats

 

A few years ago, a friend and I decided to nominate out own work for the BlogHer Voices of the Year competition. We thought long and hard about the blog posts we were selecting and critiqued each other's choices to make sure we were entering the very best of ourselves into a sea of incredibly talented voices. And while it was nice to have my name in the proverbial hat, I was always very aware of the fact that I am the one who placed it there.

That's not a bad thing, mind you. I know it's allowed and encouraged to nominate yourself or else I wouldn't have done it to begin with. All I'm saying is that, as the stereo-typical-unsure-but-over-confident-nuerotic-but-driven writer who is always looking for validation for the thoughts inside of my head, it means the world to me that this year, someone else put my name in that hat.

The lovely Alexandra from Good Day, Regular People believed my post entitled Self-Loathing and Chocolate to be worthy of a nomination in the Heart category for this year's Voices of the Year. I'm honored. And thankful.

I'd love it if you would make the time to click this link to view and read my entry. I never made Homecoming court because I suck at rallying the troops for anything that requires Getting You to Vote for Me so I'm not going to hire a campaign manager or anything. Instead, I'll just get back to chasing the puppy away from Buttercup's tea party in her Magical Land and addressing her as Her Royal Highness Super Starry Star.

 

The Day I Bought My Blog an Iron

If I was a man and my blog was my woman she would totally be mad at me right now.

See, I've been using This Little Blog O' Mine as a sounding board for the past two years.  Bottom line? Blogarina deserves Shiny and Pretty and New and instead? I totally forgot her two-year anniversary. The only thing I could have done to make it worse was Remembered and brought home an iron.

My dad did that for mom once. He's dead and she's still bitching about it.

It's okay though. I can guarantee he's sitting up on a cloud, drinking a Miller Lite and chuckling about that time Mom got pissed off at him for buying What She Said She Needed.

August 11, 2009, people. That's when I first appeared online as Aspiring Mama on twitter and on this blog. So I'm reposting the first words I shared with the world. Surprisingly, or maybe not, I probably could have written this post this morning.

And round and round...

The World...

She spins...

***

I have blogger’s block.

Or rather, the blogger in me isn’t sure what she is doing right now.

For years, decades even, I have been talking about how I was going to grow up to become a novelist.

An Author.

A writer.

I was eight when I made that decision, and 18 when I realized I was going to need something that paid the bills. So rationally, I signed up as a Communications major in college and specialized in Journalism. This was a smart move, I figured. I’d hone my craft, impress my editors, get my name out there, and publish the novel I’d write into the wee hours of each morning in no time. But then…

I was too tired to write when I got home.

I got married.

Dealt with infertility.

Had a baby.

Hated my job.

Quit my job.

Lost my father.

Moved 2,000 miles to start a brand new life.

And then I woke up one day and decided I wanted to try and make that dream come true again.

So here I am. And I’m not sure where to start.

 

***

 

Thank you all for reading my finding my words and coming back for more.

Really Bad Foreshadowing

After two tantrums and a pouting session, I got a new video camera. I've got two here at home (one which I don't trust and the other which is such an annoying shade of pink that I was hard-pressed for coming up with an actual reason for needing a new one) which made my case almost impossible to prove with The Husband.

"I want a insert brand name here video camera."

"Why?"

"Because that's what everyone else on twitter is taking to Blogher."

"But isn't insert brand name here the one that glitched out on you when you tried uploading Priceless Memories a few years ago and haven't used it since because you stopped trusting it when you lost all the video?"

"Well...yes."

"So why do you want the new version?"

"Because that's what everyone else on twitter is taking to BlogHer."

And by everyone, I mean the two conversations I've had or witnessed with two separate people all giddy about the video camera that The Husband flat-out refused to buy for me after some online research, product review homework, and his final verdict. But he had no problem buying me another brand, which he said was Better because it did insert technical jargon here and blah blah blah and I didn't give a damn because I was regressing to being a 6 year-old again. We went to the store, left with The Husband-approved camera, swiped the credit card, and came home with a camera  I didn't even want to play with because it wasn't.the.one.I.wanted.

To be fair, I did give it a shot. At swim class with Buttercup. On the way home from a long day out with photos and video of some awesome cloud and rain action over the mountains. And then whenever The Husband was home, just so he could see I gave it a fair chance before telling him I just wasn't that into it.

Turns out I didn't have to.

"If you don't like it, we'll just return it and you can take both of your old cameras to BlogHer and you should be fine."

Sure they are teeny and sure, three total hours of video is a lot when you consider the actual length of most videos I'd ever be taking. But the sheer inconvenience of having to lug two embarrassingly obsolete models with me to New York was enough to take me back to the moment my father tried convincing me that the knock-offs from Pay-Less were just as Totally Cool as the K-Swiss the rest of my middle school class was wearing. I wasn't buying it.

So I pouted.

The Husband rolled his eyes, sighed, looked up at the ceiling as if to ask God why, and reminded me he had no problem buying me a different camera to replace my dinosaurs, but no way in hell was he buying me an insert brand name here because insert brand name here sucks ass in his humble opinion, and that would be a ridiculous waste of money.

And, more importantly, he now wanted an actual reason...like...one that would hold up in court, for why exactly I needed a new camera when I had at least one that actually worked, even if it was a sickening shade of pink and only took two hours of video with no expandable memory.

This is when I got quiet. It was essentially my last bite at the apple, and it had to be good. The Husband can spot bullshit a mile away, too, which makes my life very difficult and forces me to be creative.

So I thought up this list in my head:

* What if I meet the Manic Mommies and my blackberry (the only device I currently use to upload any images into my blog) fails me, leaving me with an awesome story and no proof?

* I need to be able to count on the fact that I can document meeting Juliette for the first time after spending a zillion minutes in contact with her over the past year, committing to writing a book with her (after Baby F(Ph)at is done, people...keep your panties on), publicly declaring her my TBFF (click the link and think about it for a minute, if you are confused.)

* I want to start posting vlogs on Aspiring Mama geared for the writing peeps. And I'd like to be able to do that without having to rely on someone else to be here to film me or having to contort myself into advanced yoga positions to do so.

* I want...

And this is where I got interrupted because it turns out I was verbally reciting my list as I thought it silently in my head, and I'd finally said something that The Husband thought was a valid Reason.

So we got in the car. We drove to Best Buy. And I came home with a Sony Bloggie.

I am happy because:

* It's cute.

* It has a cute name.

* I can film myself without having to contort into advanced yoga positions.

and because

* my accountant will accept this blog post as a reason to add the Sony Bloggie to my tax write-off list for the coming year.

So stay tuned. I'll eventually post something on here that involves a bit less text. Feel free to lie and tell me it Doesn't Suck when I do.

Best Parenting Blog? You decide...

Sometimes I have a really hard time defining myself. I'm a daughter, a sister, a wife. I'm a friend, a mother, and a writer.

Sometimes I have a hard time defining my blog.

It's where I write about myself and my dreams and my efforts to keep the ones BB (Before Buttercup) at the top of my priority list because I didn't lose that part of my identity when she came into my life; rather, I simply became more.

Apparently, these little pieces of me are resonating with readers. My blog is up for a possible 2010 nomination for Best Parenting Blog from Nick Jr. Parent's Pick Awards. And to save me from more rounds of therapy after high school flashbacks of losing another student congress election, I'd appreciate your votes! You can will vote as often as you'd like or everyday through July 6th! Isn't that exciting? Of course it is.

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