Category Archives: life

“Being a Mom is Great” Moved to SoapboxMom.com!!

It’s official!

The Being a Mom is Great blog will now be called simply, SOAPBOX MOM!

Soapbox Mom Avatar

So, BMG Mom (aka bimmgee) is now soapbox mom or “SoapB” or Soapbox or soap!

Please join me over there now at soapboxmom.com.

And, when you find it, please let me know you did by leaving a comment.  As always, I appreciate your support!

😉

Also, if you’ve been so kind as to include me on your blogroll, please add me back as Soapbox Mom (and if I’ve lost your site, just let me know and I’ll be sure to add it right back onto my blogroll)!

Thanks!!

See you on the soapbox!!

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Filed under Children, Entertainment, family, Fun, games, life, parenting, personal, Thoughts

What Did Paula Do Before American Idol?

UPDATE:

As of February 10, 2008, the Being a Mom is Great blog has moved here (www.soapboxmom.com). Please visit Soapbox Mom to read more articles by this author (bmg mom is now Soapboxmom).

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-written by bmg mom (Being a Mom is Great blog)

That phenomenon, American Idol, started up again last week. Hey, by the way, did you know that Idol “loser” Chris Daughtry managed to get five hit songs off of his CD, Daughtry, while Taylor Hicks (2006 American Idol winner) is in some kind of dispute with his record company? Fascinating. Those folks were from a couple years back. As for this season, we watched one of the episodes last week and actually did begin humming Renaldo Lapuz’s song, “Brothers Forever.”

“I am your bro-other. Your best friend forever…”

You just have to see it. Go on — give this guy just a couple minutes of your time. He is truly endearing and seems to have a good heart. Well, at least you can agree that he’s coming from a…special place. No?

Renaldo Lapuz’s “Audition”

So…did you start humming it? Singing it?

Anyway…

We’re sitting there watching it when one of the kids asks me, “Hey, Mom. What did Paula do before she was on American Idol?”

Well, thanks to that wonder of wonders called YouTube I was able to show them (because my description was sorely lacking). And now, in case you, too, were wondering, here it is:

Paula’s “Audition”*

Somehow I like Renaldo’s audition much, much more…

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*Just for the record, I showed the kids Opposites Attract, not this one.

5 Comments

Filed under American Idol, Culture, Entertainment, family, Fun, life, TV

When You Have a Bad Day…

UPDATE:

As of February 10, 2008, the Being a Mom is Great blog has moved here (www.soapboxmom.com). Please visit Soapbox Mom to read more articles by this author (bmg mom is now Soapboxmom).

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My blogger friend over at Missives from Suburbia recently wrote a terrific post about how feelings originate from either fear or love. She presented a challenge to her readers to watch how we talk to and treat our loved ones and then make rational choices instead of impulsive ones. I took that to mean that I should consciously choose love over fear, kindness over harshness.

So today, the starting point for this challenge, I started my day in a fine way, with a smile on my face, newspaper in front of me, coffee in hand. Then the kids start acting…well…a little revved. Goofy, silly, loud, talking too much about farts and butts, you know, being just a bit overly wild. I chose to ignore it all (well, except when I reminded them of our rule of no potty talk at the table), but as for the other stuff, I just kept telling myself, “Give ’em a little bit of slack today. They’re so happy…they’ll be on their way to school soon enough…” (as I felt the beginning pangs of a headache).

Stressed Woman

I quietly slipped into my room to get dressed, pulled on one of my favorite sweaters, and got ready for the day, urging myself to believe that there are no bad days, only bad moments. Each moment we make a choice (or many choices), and I was determined to choose to keep moving forward, to keep things in perspective and most of all to just be aware of how my state of mind affected my choices.

Then I noticed a hole in my favorite sweater. When did that get there? Rats. Take that off, put on some other shirt. Whatever. Keep going. It’s just an article of clothing. As my day continued, it just kept getting worse and worse (I won’t bore you with all the details, let’s just say it involved PMS). It reminded me of that picture book I recently reviewed on my radio show, called Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. You know, where everything seems to be going wrong and the bad moments continue throughout the day.

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

By dinnertime, I was really cranky and couldn’t muster a smile for anything. So I tell the kids to just give me some space. “I just want to check a few things online and then I’ll start making dinner,” I explain. So, I’m at the computer when I hear the first few notes of a song from the movie Alvin and the Chipmunks. I look over to my right and see my son holding a tablespoon like a microphone while he lipsyncs the words (he recently discovered how to do it and is pretty excited to fake sing to all kinds of music in a hammy, performing kind of way). It’s pretty darn cute.

Anyway, so I glance over and notice he’s there, but I keep typing away on my keyboard. Then I glance again and notice that he has no intention of moving. Oh, no. He’s standing there as if it’s the stage in the Kodak Theatre and I’m his audience of thousands. He’s still looking right at me.

I know, sometimes it takes me a while, but I finally realized that this wasn’t just a quick snippet of a song, rather he was trying to pull me out of my funk. So I stop typing and get into the moment…this precious moment that somewhere in the deep recesses of my mind I recognize I really need right about now.

I turn toward him and see his eyes looking at me in a way only your own child can. I can’t help but smile. He’s lipsyncing to the song Bad Day but instead of Daniel Powter singing Bad Day, it’s the one from Alvin and the Chipmunks.

Alvin’s version of the song, Bad Day

It’s working. My cranky-wall cracks ever so slightly and I start to smile, but just a little grin.

Then, at just the right moment, right at this big crescendo, my daughter slides into view (on her knees, doing a sweeping slide that finishes with her left arm swinging up into the air for dramatic effect). She, too, holds a tablespoon mic in her right hand, and joins my son in the lipsyncing extravaganza. Our dog feels the good vibes (or something) and trots over happily, wanting to share in this jubilant affair.

The whole performance is enough to make me stand up at the end, with a huge grin on my face and a really warm feeling inside, wrap my arms around both of my kids and just revel in this amazing moment. The kids are absolutely beaming. They know what works for me, how to make me smile, what can bring a smile to my face (as long as I choose to let it in).

How can all that translate to you? Well, I could say, “You should buy the Alvin & the Chipmunks tune, have your kids learn the words to Bad Day and sing for you.” But that seems like asking a lot and wouldn’t necessarily translate.

No, I just offer you this: when you’re having a really lousy day (like Alexander’s or like mine or whatever kind of day is your kind of bad day), dig way down to get to that place where you can throw off the mask that we often hide behind as adults and then look at your kids. You know, really look at your kids. If they’re not singing, then try to imagine them singing. Or pick up a picture of them when they’re asleep or when they’re being their most adorable.* It will melt you and get you back to a place where you can more easily choose love, compassion and kindness. The place where your heart wants to be. It’s a glorious place. Really. And it’s the key to getting past those bad days moments.

More4Kids photo

Love’s hard to beat.

It’s moments like those that make being a mom really, really great.

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Images from Amazon and Google Images (including the one from here).

*This reference is to a post from another one of my blogger friend’s blogs, The Busy Dad Blog within which he shows a great picture of his son, affectionately referred to as Fury, at one of his most adorable moments. See what I mean? Makes you melt…and hopefully will do so even more when it’s your own.

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Filed under Children, family, life, parenting, personal, Thoughts

You’ll Be Amazed at What Happens When You Start Throwing Up…

UPDATE:

As of February 10, 2008, the Being a Mom is Great blog has moved here (www.soapboxmom.com). Please visit Soapbox Mom to read more articles by this author (bmg mom is now Soapboxmom).

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Book Fair 2007 left

My absolute favorite event at my kids’ schools is the annual Book Fair. It’s so popular at DS’s school, that I had to wait a few years before the position of co-chair opened up (and even now I’m considered the “3rd co-chair”). Anyway, the point is that I love it and everything about it. As the merchandising point person, I spend the year before the fair scoping out children’s books online and in bookstores to get a sense of what’s good and what’s probably going to be popular. Then I search online for summer reading lists to find out what all the area schools are reading. I also ask my kids and their friends about their favorite books and I keep mental notes. I’m just plain passionate about (okay, maybe obsessed with) books (particularly children’s books).

Fast forward to the Friday before the fair. A team of volunteers arrives to set up this enormous fair. Mike, the guy who delivers the 20 bookcases and gazillion boxes of books tells us it’s one of the biggest fairs he and his team have ever handled. “Wow, uh, gee, thanks…” we respond as we look at the daunting task before us. After a few handshakes and a “Thanks so much, Mike!” we decide, okay, we can do this, because, after all my co-chairs and I are all really passionate about books. Right. Okay. Here we go…

Bestsellers and award winners

After several hours, the decorating team has transformed the enormous space we call the “large Pod” into a winter wonderland, complete with blue table cloths, snowflakes, illuminated snowmen, winter backdrops, lighted trees and more — most importantly, cases and case of books. It looks really good. We’re genuinely eager to get books in the hands of so many kids. One of my too-good-to-be-true co-chairs and I stay until the janitors kick us out (almost 11 pm) getting the books in the right places and getting everything where it needs to be.

We’re exhausted but excited.

Book Fair 2007 right

The big day arrives — Monday, opening day. We arrive at 6:30 am to finish up some final details and prepare for our 8:00 am open. The new high tech scanners have a few glitches, but we’re generally off to a good start. Business is fairly steady. No serious problems. On Tuesday it’s more of the same, we arrive early (for our parent coffee at 7), leave late (and tired), but we’re really looking forward to Wednesday. Wednesday is always our big day. It’s when the kids really have had a chance to see the books, talk to their parents about their wish lists, then come in and buy. We start early (8:00 am) and stay open all day through to the big event — the Family Night. Our principal and several teachers scoop ice cream sundaes, complete with just about any topping you can think of (except nuts, of course, to respect the allergy restrictions), we have fun activities for the kids, storytime with a favorite teacher and all those books. It’s usually a big social event and tons of fun for everyone.

This year? Fun for everyone except me…unfortunately. At 5:10 am Wednesday morning I start throwing up…repeatedly. I kept hoping I was dreaming. It was the day I was really looking forward to. And now this?! “What the…?! NO!!!! This is not happening!!!” I called my co-chairs and told them I couldn’t make it. To say I was disappointed would be a huge understatement. This was sort of the climactic moment that all the preceding months of hard work led up to. And I was stuck in bed, unable to give suggestions to those buyers who look overwhelmed and confused about what to buy. Unable to direct people to the book they’ve been searching for but just can’t find in the midst of all the stacks. Well, maybe this was a great way for me to practice letting go and to realize that the world continues to revolve (quite well, thank you) without us control-freakish moms.

When the kids came home from school that day, they immediately knew I wouldn’t be moving from the sofa. I watched from a distance as they managed to get dinner on the table and do their homework without any complaining. I’m not saying that they whipped up some fabulous meal from a cookbook, but hey, they called and ordered pizza, paid the delivery guy (and remembered to tip him!), set and cleared the table, unloaded and loaded the dishwasher and finished their homework (without the usual sibling squabbles, too). Then, they brought me crackers, ginger-ale, and vitamin water, covered me with a blanket and pretty much made sure I had everything I needed. It was touching.

If it’s true that everything happens for a reason, then maybe this whole ordeal was a good lesson for me. When I kept asking myself, “Why is this happening today, of all days?” maybe the answer should have been, “So that you can realize that you can chill a little. You’re a big help, sure, but you’re not indispensable. And that’s okay. Really. Chill.” Right. Or maybe I just caught some 24 hour stomach flu from the hundreds of kids I was surrounded by for the past three days.

Whatever it was, I was glad to see my kids being so caring, considerate and responsible. They really stepped up when I needed them. I recently read a review of a book* about a woman who doesn’t want kids and who thinks no one should have kids (!?). I know it’s rather extreme, isn’t it? After these past few days, when I think of that woman, I just smile and think, “Darlin’ if you only knew…”

I wonder what happens when she throws up…

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UPDATE: For a great post by IzzyMom related to the book referenced above (*by Corinne Maier entitled, “No Kid: 40 Reasons for Not Having Children”), click here.

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Filed under books, Children, family, life, personal, Thoughts

Messages to Our Daughters – Dove Campaign for Real Beauty

You might want to preview the video below when no kids are around. My blog is generally family friendly, so I wouldn’t normally post something like this, but I was so impressed by the video, I wanted to share it. I love pretty things and beauty as much as the next person, but I think marketing types are exploiting women’s desires to be attractive. I wish we could be more accepting and less judgmental. I wish we could celebrate aging gracefully and be beautiful by eating healthy food and engaging in whatever forms of exercise we enjoy (e.g., playing tennis, walking the dog, taking long walks with loved ones, etc.). Instead, we’re bombarded with falsified images which we’re supposed to strive to emulate.

As always, it’s up to you whether or not you click “play.”

Fairly intense and dramatic, but really, what are some of these companies doing to our girls? Heck, to us?!

Food for thought…

BTW, the video (“Onslaught”) is part of Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty. You might be interested in some of the tools they provide on their website.

One of the tools is the image manipulation test shown below. The test is targeted to girls 11-16.

Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty - IMT

Thanks to jlogged.com and her friend, Tracee at traceesioux.blogspot.com for posting the “Onslaught” video on their blogs (or I probably never would have seen it).

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Filed under Culture, family, life, parenting, Thoughts

The Power of Kindness

UPDATE:

As of February 10, 2008, the Being a Mom is Great blog has moved here (www.soapboxmom.com). Please visit Soapbox Mom to read more articles by this author (bmg mom is now Soapboxmom).

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While leisurely strolling through our local bookstore, I discovered a great little book called, “The Power of Kindness” by Piero Ferrucci.

It was the kind of moment when you’re looking for one book, but another just seems to pop out at you, urging you to pick it up. Don’t you love when that happens? Well, I do. And I did (pick it up).

It’s been serving as a gentle reminder to keep my head up and not let the crabby, negative people get me down.

The Power of Kindness

Ferrucci describes various facets of kindness: honesty, warmth, forgiveness, contact, sense of belonging, trust, mindfulness, empathy, humility, patience, generosity, respect, flexibility, memory, loyalty, gratitude, service and joy.

I haven’t finished it yet, but I already love it.

I think about how much more pleasant our communities could be if we all focused more on being kind. Not just to strangers in the supermarket, but to our kids, spouses, families, pets, fellow bloggers and especially to people with whom we disagree.

Image from Amazon.

3 Comments

Filed under books, life, personal

Cool Bathrooms!

UPDATE:

As of February 10, 2008, the Being a Mom is Great blog has moved here (www.soapboxmom.com). Please visit Soapbox Mom to read more articles by this author (bmg mom is now Soapboxmom).

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Okay, get ready for this one, folks.
I found this link showing the most interesting public bathrooms in the world. Some are kind of…unsettling. Others are just weird. But some you just have to see to believe. My fave is probably the one (pictured below) where they use one-way glass that (you hope!) prevents outsiders from looking in. They call it “Don’t Miss a Sec”.
What do you think? Would you be bold enough to use it?

Don’t Miss a Sec

Photo and info from www.concierge.com.

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Filed under Culture, design, life