Thursday, July 30, 2009

The obligatory BlogHer'09 post where I talk about all the wonderful people I met *squee* and discuss my social anxiety until you can't stand it.

Or the post for those of you who really want to know what it is like to go to BlogHer for the first time when you don't know anyone and you are socially stunted.

If you followed me at all over the last few days on Twitter you will know that I found BlogHer'09 amazing! And completely overwhelming. Talk about information and sensory overload!

I met a lot of people and am now totally confused about who I met when and who is who, etc. etc. I still need to go through all my business cards and try and sort things out.

I had a mental list of people that I wanted to meet, many of them women whose blogs I have been reading since I started blogging four years ago. I was able to introduce myself to several of them and even have a conversation with a few. It must be a little strange to some of them to be approached like that by complete strangers. I always feel awkward doing it, so I have a feeling I come off awkwardly too. I was a little disappointed by the responses I received from three blogger's in particular, but to be fair I'm not sure I was approaching them at the most opportune time. And again, hello awkwardness!

I will say though that of the blogging "stars" that I met Anissa at Free Anissa has to be the most genuine person I've ever met! Someday I'm going to get a chance to talk to her when she isn't being accosted by all the other women who want to get in her bra. Jenny The Bloggess was the most gracious when I accosted introduced myself to her, and has me pretty much believing she actually knows who I am! And there was Jozet at Halushki, who was very calm and collected when I realized I was sitting right next to her during one of the sessions and screamed "OMG, I love you, you are on my LIST!" like a total dweeb. She is also one of the most talented writers I know and I think she might even, like, talk to me again sometime!! Squeee!

Socially, in some areas I think I did better than I expected. Not knowing anyone there forced me to sit down at tables with strangers during the meals and sessions, and in doing so I met some very nice and very interesting women. In small settings (when I'm sitting down especially??) I'm not bad at actually talking with people.

I didn't however, make it to any of the parties in the evening, and I'm still deciding if I'm disappointed in myself that I didn't. Friday night I was exhausted by the time the sessions were over and was asleep by 10pm. Although I regret that I missed the specific parties that were held that night, I think staying in was the better choice. Saturday I don't have a good excuse for staying in, other than I really don't LIKE big parties with lots of noise and lots of people. So I have this internal debate going on, where I alternate between telling myself that its OK that I don't like parties and that there is nothing wrong with not going to something I don't like, and telling myself that I'm a looser and need to make myself do these things. I'm sure that because I didn't go to the parties I missed several opportunities to actually get to know some of the women I've wanted to meet for a while.

I've always been shy, and I don't think that is something that just goes away. It doesn't matter how many happy pills I take...the social anxiety doesn't ever really go away. I pretty much feel like I'm right back in high school.

Over all I'm very happy with the experience I had. I'll talk more tomorrow about what I learned and what I took home with me (and I'm not talking about the swag!). I think I'll do a few things differently next year, like have a roommate, who will hopefully force encourage me to do more socially while holding my hand. I'll also do some more networking before I go and have some firm plans to meet with some of the women I've come to know online over the last couple years, that I feel especially comfortable with. And I'll make sure that I don't get a case of the runs in the middle of the Community Keynote and have to leave and miss a bunch of great speakers! Yeah, for real...


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

And because this is how my luck runs, this will probably be the first post of mine my mother ever reads.

I was emailing earlier today with Drew from Eden Fantasys and he asked if I'd be interested in helping to promote their Sex and the Suburbs columns on their online magazine, Sexis.

I was all, Sure, sounds like my kind of column!

And then he sent me the link, and I saw the topic, and my head hit my desk while I simultaneously clenched and blushed. And I'm still fumbling over what to say, so, well, just check it out if you are interested...or curious...or have a drawer full of lube you want to use up.

I dare you!

Sex and the Suburbs

BlogHer posts coming soon!


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Headed to BlogHer'09 tra-la tra-la! Please ignore my shaking hands.

OK, so I'm basically packed for BlogHer and ready to go. I'm nervous as hell, although once Rich helped me figure out what to wear that settled down a little bit.

I'm a little bummed that I'm likely going to miss out on all the social functions tomorrow though, although the reason is awesome. I'm going to see my best friend Jocelyn (hopefully) and my best friend from college - Kristin.

Kristin is picking me up from the airport. The original plan was Jocelyn would meet us at the hotel and the three of us would hang out all evening and have a PJ party in the room. And maybe I'd slip out to a few events, or try and sneak them in with me.

Well, Jocelyn's husband sucks and he's not doing anything to help with their kids and she couldn't find anyone to watch them Friday morning, so she can't stay. I guess the plan now is to meet her an hour or so outside of Chicago for dinner.

So, back to BlogHer...I'm nervous. I didn't do the pre-conference networking I had planned on doing so I'm pretty much going there not knowing anyone. My biggest social fear! And, I'm not sharing a room with anyone, which is great from the wanting to sleep by myself with no kids or cats waking me up standpoint, but not so good from the having someone make me leave me room standpoint.

So if you are at BlogHer and you are reading this, please make sure I leave my room!

Thank you!

On a completely different note, this past week has been a week of firsts, which I'm prepared to share with you all now.

  • I used a neti pot for the first time. I can't say I have enjoyed it; however, my sinuses do feel clearer. Not as dramatically as I had expected though.
  • I used the Diva cup for the first time. Definitely a learning curve there, but I think I got it down. Most definitely something I'm going to stick with.
  • Kiel had his first haircut, which I wrote about earlier this week.
  • Noah decided to listen to the boys in his group at camp when they told him peeing on the pavilion floor would be funny. So he dropped trough and peed on the floor. All the children laughed, then promptly tattled on him. The adults were pretty much dumbfounded, as was I when they told me.
  • Noah earned his yellow belt in Karate!
  • Kiel said "hat" today.
  • Noah has decided he is a contortionist. Evidence below:
  • Rich sent me flowers at work on Tuesday. Unfortunately I wasn't actually AT work on Tuesday. Ooopps. I did get them today though and they are gorgeous! I think he wants to make sure I really do come home on Sunday after my little taste of freedom.
  • Please ignore the pile of junk next to them. And yes, there are two bottles of wine sitting there. What you don't see is the bottle of vodka, bottle of rum, and bottle of tequila that are sitting next to the wine.
  • And, of course, I am going to BlogHer tomorrow, also a first. And my first time away since well before Kiel was born. Wheeee....
OK, I'm off to bed, where I'll probably not sleep because of nerves and excitement.

Remind me to tell you about the EMDR I did with my therapist in preparation for BlogHer. Yeah, that's how bad my social anxiety is. And if you really want a laugh ask me how my ball of yarn is.


Sunday, July 19, 2009

The day we turned the curls into swirls! AKA Kiel's first haircut!

I've been holding off on getting Kiel his first haircut for far too long. I just wasn't ready to cut off his curls. But we had long passed the point of the curls being cute to anyone but his Mama.

We had reached the "business in the front, party in the back" point a couple months ago. But I still couldn't part with those curls! Then I caught a look at him the other day. He was wearing a button down short sleeve shirt and the sleeves had managed to creep up to his shoulders. With the long hair in back, and the sleeveless look going on, he was starting to look a little southern rock (if you want to look at it positively) or white trash (if you wanted to be honest).

So Saturday we drove to the local kids salon, where Noah and Kiel took a ride together.
Look Mom, a magic cape!
OMG, the curls are gone!

Lollipops and balloons make the process much easier.

Mommy is freaking out a little less and enjoying the cuteness!

So freaking cute!!!
And the awesome part of it is that the curls may be gone, but the swirl is still there! There are pictures of the swirl here from a year ago, when he was seven months old.


Friday, July 17, 2009

And again, I ask why

Yesterday Noah had another "incident" at camp. He was in the bathroom with another boy. No idea why both were in there since only one is allowed in at a time. And apparently it was only for a few seconds. But, he made the most of those few seconds and pushed the kid into the wall and put his hands on his throat.

When Noah was asked why he said "because I wanted to" and because "my brain told me to."

This scares the hell out of me!

Even Noah agrees he wasn't provoked. Nothing happened that in any way can "explain" this.

I know no one has an answer for me, but all I can think is "why" and what does this mean for the future?

Or am I just overreacting?


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Sticker Giveaway from! my usual fashion I'm late posting the winner. Sorry guys!

OK, the winner is comment number 4 - Nicole at! Congrats!

Nicole I'll be emailing you as well as to make sure you get the coupon code. I apologize its so late in the day and you probably won't get the information from them until Monday.

I've written a couple times recently about and their blog sponsorship program. I ordered business cards from them last week and I am very excited about it. I can't wait to get them so I can tell you what I think! I'll have them with me at BlogHer so don't be afraid to ask me for one!

This week emailed me with an offer to give away to one of you lucky readers 250 custom printed stickers!! So cool right?!? Because not only do they print business cards and a bunch of other things, they do sticker printing! Fun, yes?

Since they offered me custom stickers too I'm going to have some made up with my MNT logo,which Shauna just reworked for me. She also designed my business cards btw! Oh yeah, and my blog! I think she is just teh awesome!
What do you think? Pretty cool, huh? I'm hoping I will get them in time to take to BlogHer with me!

If you'd like to win 250 custom stickers for yourself, just leave me a comment telling me what you'd do with them! Super easy!

The winner will receive a coupon code by Friday July 17, 2009.

The small print:

Giveaway is open to US/CAN residents. Shipping of prizes is not included and must be paid by winner. reserves the right not to print obscene or offensive materials.

All designs submitted in the form of a giveaway may be used by for online marketing and promotional uses. The designs will be used solely as examples and not be printed or commercially distributed.


Nature Valley Granola Nut Clusters review

Recently MyBlogSpark sent me the new Nature Valley Granola Nut Clusters to try. When they sent me the initial email asking if I was interested I was all "sure, I love nuts, I love granola, why not." I fully expected to receive a small single serving size sample. Well, wasn't I surprised when the package came and it included a full size bag of each of their four flavors.

Here's a little blurb about this new product:

New Nature Valley Granola Nut Clusters are bite size clusters of nuts, granola and a touch of honey - a 100% natural, wholesome and delicious treat for any time of the day. If you are a lover of nuts, you´ll love what Nature Valley has done with this powerful little snack. It is the perfect combination of sweet & salty flavor and crunchy texture made from natural nut goodness that you can see and taste. And with a resealable bag it´s perfect for sharing either on the trails or in your living room!

New Nature Valley Granola Nut Clusters come in four tasty flavors; Nut Lovers, Roasted Almond, Roasted Cashew and Honey Roasted Peanut.

I first tried the almond flavor. And O.M.G. talk about little bits of heaven in a bite size cluster! Serious awesomeness! I wasn't surprised that I liked them to be honest. I love granola and I love nuts. So really, what's not to like? But, they were even better tasting than I had expected.

Rich has been all over the roasted cashew bag, and Noah will eat whatever variety we let him.

They are all good, but the roasted almost is my favorite!

For the nutrition conscious among you, the roasted almond flavor is 140 calories, 7 grams of fat, and 2 grams of fiber per serving. A serving is 7 clusters. Not a bad size, but I dare you to actually stop at seven!

I have learned though that my GI tract actually prefers that I not go overboard with them. But that's just me. And my not wanting to share the ummm..."goodness" with everyone at karate when I'm doing things like crunches. 'nough said I think.

I have no idea what they cost, but you can get a $1 off coupon here.

This is definitely a product we will buy and enjoy in the future! If you like granola, and you like nuts, I absolutely recommend you try them yourselves!


Do I laugh? Do I cry? Or do I just let my head spin around a few more times?

I know I've said before on MNT that my husband is one of the most intelligent people I know, but not at all in a cocky way. (I lurve myself some intelligence btw, but not the cocky kind. Rich has a friend that's intelligent and successful and super cocky, which all lends itself to super obnoxious, and totally not a turn on to me.)

So anyway...back to the point. Rich is a damn smart man, but he's a man after all, and for all you married women reading this I probably don't need to say much more. But I will share this little story with you. Because I'm still trying to decide if I should laugh or cry.

Yesterday I went a little insane and scared Rich and Noah into helping me clean because we had crossed the line into disgusting in a few areas of the house. I do love how they jump to my bidding when my head starts to spin around and frothy drool is spraying from my mouth as I scream.

The last thing I asked Rich to do was clean the toilets so the baby sitter wasn't afraid to actually use them while she was there that evening.

As an aside - because I feel its important you all know every little part of my life...Lately we've been using those disposable toilet bowl cleaners, where you keep the handle but throw away the scrubbing part. I'm not a big fan of keeping things around that have touched other peoples shit, so I really like the disposable part of it.

OK, back to the story. Rich and I cross paths on the stairs as he heads to the powder room to clean that toilet as I head to our bathroom to take a shower. I'm out of the shower and he comes in the bathroom to clean that toilet. I'm talking to him as I'm combing out my hair and he's scrubbing away at the toilet bowl. When ALL.OF.A.SUDDEN he takes the scrubby part out of the toilet and starts wiping it around the top of the toilet tank. You know, the top, where we put the extra roll of toilet paper, and a book or magazine or two.

And my head may have spun around again a few times as I not so calmly said "what the fuck are you doing?"

And he looked at me, with complete innocence and cluelessness on his face and said "what?"

"Shit, you just cleaned our shit with that and now you are putting it all over. Seriously. What are you thinking?"


I tossed him the spray cleaner. He caught it and looked at me with a blank look on his face. Because clearly he still didn't know what he'd done wrong.*

I'm not sure 24 hours later he's figured out why I was so completely grossed out. And believe me, I'm not easily grossed out.

I probably over reacted didn't I...

*Or does he?!? Is he smarter even than I give him credit for? Is this his attempt at appearing inept so I don't ask him to clean again?


Friday, July 10, 2009

And still, it is their loss.

I was sorting through some papers today and I came across the letter that my mother wrote in March. You know, the three typewritten pages full of how awful I am and what a shitty mother I am. Yeah, much love. I stupidly read the letter again today, just to see if it was really as awful as I remembered it. And yes, It was.

There has been no real contact since then, except for cards and flowers sent for birthdays, Mothers Day and Fathers Day. Dad got a cactus for Fathers Day. I wonder if he got the significance. Probably not. The cards include art work from the boys.

My mom sent a type written thank you note for the mothers day flowers. A couple weeks ago a box arrived with Noah's name on it and it was full of buckets and other cheap sand toys. They did send some stuff for Easter as well, like a bag of plastic eggs that needed to be filled with candy and some scary ass stuffed animals. They hang out at WalMart a lot it seems, now that one made it to Fowlerville.

So yeah, I read the letter, and I chuckled a bit. I've had time to process the ridiculousness of it. I do a lot of eye rolling when I think of it.

Yes, part of me still wants to respond to their crazy accusations and revisionist history. But, I know there is truly no point. They aren't going to change how they view our relationship.

So what we have here is a non-relationship. I am now the un-daughter and I'm getting more and more comfortable with it.

All my commitments to them were done in June once Fathers Day was over. Now I have no obligations to them until Christmas.

That is a huge relief!

It's a relief not having to make the weekly phone call, or respond to my mothers two sentence emails with the expected paragraphs.

It's a relief not having to try and explain Noah, his latest diagnosis, or treatment, or why he is at summer camp with a TSS.

It's a HUGE relief that we don't have to make the trip to visit them in Michigan, and that I don't have to put up with them in our house if they visit us here.

I'm still sad with the concept of what is going on - that we have no real contact with my family. It's a strange thing for me. But it is also very freeing.

I'm just sad that it seems I'm losing my brother and sister in law in all of this. I saw my sister was online on yahoo mail a couple weeks ago and I tried to talk to her. She answered me and we spoke for about 2 minutes, then she had to leave. I haven't seen her pop up since, so I'm assuming she has blocked me. Not surprising though that they would take the path my parents are on. I've always been the strange older sister to them too.


Tuesday, July 07, 2009

In which my insanity once again takes over and I prove just how pathetic I am

I have a mommy date next week! A second mommy date actually!!

Whoo hooo!


Eeekkk I'm nervous.

What if I blow it? What if I say something stupid, which I've been known to do, and she thinks I'm an idiot?

Oyyy...the pressure.

So, Kiel and I are going to the zoo with a mommy (Keri) and her little girl (Mia) that we met in Kindermusik class last spring. We had a play date with them at their house* a couple weeks ago and all had fun.

And now, a second date! Did I already say eekkkk?

I really like Keri, and we have a ton of stuff in common, and I really, really want her to like me and be my friend.

On the pathetic scale of 1 to 10 I'm at an 11 right now, right? Yeah, I thought so...

*I'm not even going to get in to the issue that their house is huge and gorgeous and absofucking spotless clean. You know, the total opposite of my house. Ughhh...


Yeah! For summer camp! part 3

Week three at Knee Path Day Camp* and everything is going well. If you actually read** the last two very long, drawn out, posts I figured you deserved a very short, but positive, update.

We had a "team" meeting last week and everyone was able to let go of the problems from the first week and get on the same page. Noah is doing well with his new group and counselors and M seems to be fitting in well with them.

I'm impressed with the camp and the commitment they have made to working with us and Noah. Impressed and grateful!

Noah is having a great time there and is excited to go every morning. He's coming home tired and dirty every afternoon, which is exactly how he should come home!

Yeah for summer camp!

*Not the real name by the way. If anyone lives in my area and would like to know the real name just drop me an email - mommyneedstherapy @ gmail dot com

**I don't blame you one bit if you didn't read them btw! It was far more an exercise in venting for me, than necessary for anyone else to read.