Friday, May 22, 2009

No Longer My Baby; She's a Young Lady!

The past few days have really hit me hard and really made me realize some things about my oldest daughter. Five months ago she became a teenager, yep, the Big 1-3! Honestly that was harder on me than when I turned 30. Why though? Then it was merely the thought of her growing up and my memories of me at 13. OK that's enough to scare my pants off, but I won't go there!

So over the past few months, I felt like I came to terms with her being a teenager. My husband and I are big believers in talking to our children early and educating them about things before their peers can. Long ago we had "The Talk" and I try to continually talk to them about the realities of being a teenager and what's going on in their lives. I ask her all the usuals like,"Do you like a boy?", "Do your friends like boys?" etc. She's a pretty low key girl so she usually tells me that not too much is going on. Well, I watch way too much Dateline and hear the types of things that JR High kids are doing, but all I can do is keep trying to communicate with her and let her know that I'm always here for her.

All year I have been wanting to chaperon a school Teen Night dance, but my schedule never permitted it. Being the crazy mom that I am, I've been telling her all year long that I was going to go to the dance and actually Dance. My child has been mortified at the thought of me embarrassing her. This past Saturday, I got my big chance to chaperon the final dance. The big formal dance for their school. Of course I didn't humiliate her, even though I am a pretty good dancer if I do say so myself!

Needless to say, the dance was nothing like I expected. I was shocked by SOME of the kids. It was really sad actually! You would see the same girls that were surrounded by boys and dancing in ways that should be left to married adults, if you know what I mean. I had to break up a couple of groups that were getting at little too wild.

All night long, I was thinking how grateful I am for my daughter. I gave her space and tried not to be checking up on her; I could really tell that her and her friends were having a great time dancing and hanging out together. They are a great bunch of girls and I pray that they stay that way! On the way home, we were talking about the night and my daughter's best friend said, "Those are the girls with reputations. My mom always says, 'Your reputation is like glass. Once it's broken, it can't be fixed." Wow! They touched my heart that night. I was able to see that my little girl has become a young lady!

The next day, she had an interview for an online Teen Summit. They selected her as 1 of 5 top Teen Entrepreneurs who are doing great things in business! What an honor. I had a mandatory parent meeting for her cheerleading tryouts at the same time so her dad helped her log on and phone in for her interview, and she did a live interview. I am so amazed by this girl. Although she was nervous, she got on and did her thing! I can not even imagine doing that at 13, but she did it! Several people told her that she did a great job.

I told her that no matter how it went I was so proud that she was able to handle it. That weekend, I also told her that I am proud of the person she is. I hear so many stories of the mother/ daughter struggle, and I am so grateful that we get along well. We have our moments, but I think we have a mutual respect and I hope that we can maintain that.

Of all the reflections and thoughts, I am glad that I can see my daughter for who she is and who she is becoming! She's quite a young lady; watch out world!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Seriously, What just happened?

The title says it all really. What just happened? I can't believe it has been 1 month and 3 days since my last post! I hesitated to start a blog because I'm so busy, but wow a month. Seriously.
I have felt like a whirlwind.

Just before we launched the Home party business, Blossom SPA Parties, our website consultant said how busy I would be. I thought to myself that I couldn't get much busier. Wrong. So what's been going on the last month? The business has been growing, growing. Yeah!!! We now have women in CA, MI, TX, FL, DC, NC and OH! It's so great to have women all over the country really catch the Blossom vision and begin to work their businesses. It's an amazing feeling; it really is and I never expected that.

It's so funny to me. I am so laid back, and when I hear people refer to me as "the owner", I kind of chuckle inside. What I love about the SPA Party, direct sales business is that women all over get to take charge of their lives and their finances by building a business! And although I am no longer doing the parties or am in that part of the business, I totally relate with the women. Their dreams, their lives, their families, I relate to it all, and I hope no matter how large this business becomes that I always relate to them. It's a Sisterhood that's growing everyday!!!

It's a blessing in my life, even though it's taken over my life. LOL Don't get me wrong, in the midst of my hectic day of speaking with Advisors, transporting children, planning for the future, answering questions, putting out fires, responding to emails, growing a business, changing diapers, doing laundry, cooking dinner, shipping packages, giving baths, cleaning bathrooms, doing trainings, applying sunscreen (LOL), I do find time for my guilty pleasure, Facebook!! I work on my computer all day so my FB is always just a click away while I'm working on other stuff. I can't believe my friends had to force me to join. I enjoy being able to stay connected when I often feel so crazy and disconnected.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

My New Book

I have been super, crazy busy lately. I am trying to do so much and balance my business with my family; people call me a "Super Mom". Every time I hear that I think, "Are they crazy?" I tend to be rather hard on myself. It's tough. It's really tough for me trying to be a good mom and a business woman, but I'm doing my best. I guess that's all I can really do.

I have started reading an amazing book ( yes in all my spare time). It's called Success Principles: How To Get From Where You Are To Where You Want To Be by Jack Canfield. This book is so good; it is challenging me to move past where I am. Maybe it will help me stop being so critical of myself.

The beginning of the book talks about how people have to take 100% responsibility for their life and everything that happens in their life. It's deeper than what I can explain here, but basically you have to STOP making excuses for EVERYTHING. OK, so that means I have to take responsibility for my kids going crazy in the Container Store and my son going to see the Cat in the Hat with no coat! What? This would be so much easier if could keep blaming the kids. LOL

I am trying it, and I really believe in these principles. Now my follow through is another story; I guess that needs to be one of the goals that I set! All and all, the book is so wonderful. I want to grow and become all that I am meant to be. I am a dreamer! Always have been and always will be. That's actually one of the things that I like about myself. Without a big dream, you won't accomplish big things!

I'll keep you posted on my progress, and I highly recommend this book to everyone! Wonder if I can get a kick back for this endorsement? haha

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

There go the Ring Pops!

Try as I may and try as I might, sometimes I can't avoid having to take the kids on errands with me. Today was one of those days, and I'm still feeling the effects.

Goals for Today;
  • Go to Verizon to fix my cell phone
  • Go to the Container Store for boxes
  • Go to Staples for printer ink
  • Go to Target for a new planner

I've mentioned repeatedly that I avoid outings by myself at all cost, and I usually feel really badly about that. Then I take them all somewhere and stop feeling guilty really quickly! I started off determined to make it a successful trip so I started planning early; I packed lunches, snacks and water bottles to aviod the whining and begging for MickeyD's all day. After I picked up the kids from Kindergarten and Preschool, I was off to Verizon with my 4 youngest.

On the way there, Brooklyn, 4, was begging for her sandwich, but I wanted them to wait until after the first stop to try and spread out the snacks. When I walked in the Verizon store, I don't know what was better, the look of amazement on the faces of my little ones or the look of terror on the face of the worker. I told the kids in advance that if they behaved during our outing I would get Ring Pops on the way home. I swear if I said "Don't touch that!" once I said it one hundred times, and of course the 3 older ones had to keep touching the baby and pulling at her until I tell her down to roam with them. They weren't too bad, and the Ring Pops were still in play. I ended up leaving with an unrepaired phone because I needed to use my insurance plan to get a replacement phone, and just as we're about to leave the store, Berry, 3, starts doing the peepee dance and screaming, "I've got to go potty!" I had to shuffle all the kids back behind the counter to the employee bathroom as the guy stood there looking all impatient. I really didn't care. I made all 3 of them go because I was not about to hear that someone else had to go the minute we got in the car.

Off to Container Store we go. That was the beginning of the end. The kids all ate their food on the way and were quite content. The problem came inside the store; Brooklyn ran in shouting, "Come on, let's go to the kitchen!" I have a box of Blossom products with me becasue I am looking for better boxes than we've been using. As I am trying out the different sizes, the 3 of them begin playing tag and running around like they're in our back yard. Just as I would get one under control and try to head for the door, another one would give me the slip. Get that one back and another was gone. In my son's (6) defense, he caught on after a few escape attempts that mom was getting pretty mad!

Once I rounded them all up and loaded them all in the van, Brooklyn says (in the sweetest little voice you've ever heard), "Mommmy, when can we get our Ring Pops?" What? My head almost exploded! I mean literally exploded. Of course I calmly, yeah right, explained exactly why she wouldn't be getting one, and the water works came on. All the way to Staples I had to listen to her cry and tell me how hungry she was and how she had to have a Ring Pop. The girl is serious drama!

Staples went ok; I think because they were holding out hope for the RPs. We were only in the store for 5 minutes. I really needed to go to the restroom, but there was no way in heck I was going all the way to the back of the store and risk another disappearing act while I was trying to pee. I decided to hold it. We left, skipped out on Target and headed to pick up Bailey from school. Oh, the moaning and complaining the rest of the way. "Oh, I'm hungry. I'm tired. I'm hot. We've been in the car all day! When will we be home? I want to go home? When can I have my Ring Pop?" I'm exhausted just thinking about it, but hey I got some errands done and we all survived so I'm happy!

I can't decide if I should take them out more or if I should keep avoiding it like the plague! I'm planning a library trip for Friday. Maybe Daddy can come with me for a little while to help with defense! LOL

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Who Needs Excerise When You've Got 6 Kids

Today's Wednesday, and it's the first day since Sunday that I didn't feel like I had done a triathlon. Hey the Ironman has nothing on my day Sunday. My third grade daughter, who turned 9 on Monday, had a basketball tournament this weekend. I think because they were the #1 seed they only had one game on Saturday. After their win, some of her team mates came back to our house for a Birthday party. It was low key, but it was nice.

Nice except the part where I didn't work at all on Friday and cleaned my house like a mad woman. Plenty of Energy Kicker spray that day for sure. I was even on my hands and knees cleaning the hard woods! Uggh no fun. I remember why we usually have parties away from home!

So on Sunday, we spent all day at the tournament which was good and bad. Good because our team won the League Championship and finished the season with a winning 27 and 0 record!! But bad because I spent all day caring for the little kids in the midst of total chaos, and I mean total chaos.

Picture it. I've got my children ages 13, 6, 4, 3 and 1 in a basketball gym filled with at least 2000 spectators. My 9 year old is playing and my husband is on the bench helping coach so he can't help at all. There are 6 courts, 3 on each side, with a small walk way in between. Her games were at 2, 3 and 5 pm.

During the first game, it wasn't too bad because we were at an end court that actually had seating. The courts are a step up onto a platform; well my one year old didn't figure out she could go up on the platform until the fourth quarter. Then all heck broke lose because she was bound and determined to get out on that court. So me and my oldest are doing our best to keep her down, and she is flailing around. Every time I let her down she would crawl up and go spread eagle on the edge; I think she liked the cold of the court. Aside from dealing with her, I'm trying do hand out snacks and drinks to keep the other kids content and keep the peace. They had their DSs, but of course the needed cheese crackers and juice boxes.

The second game was delayed, and by the time it started, the 1 year old is totally over it! We were at a middle court this time with barely any seating so I stood at the end walkway while the other kids played, and I held the baby and tried to rock her and keep her calm. Then my basketball obsessed 3 year old daughter gets out her ball and starts dribbling. Ugggh I'm trying to quiet the baby, keep track of the others and make sure she doesn't let her ball go flying into another court. Thank goodness for my 13 year old. She helped enough to keep me from going insane! A woman brought me a chair toward the end of the game so I sitting up on the platform trying to rock a squirming worm.

In the break time before the last game, I ran an errand and that at least gave the little one some time to sleep. When we get back, we are on another end court which I thought would be good be good because it was the end of the day, and there was finally a little room for the kids to move. My 1 year old was almost content. She was walking around, but there was another little girl who kept trying to pick her up. Everytime the girl tried she would throw a complete fit, and the girl wouldn't stop! Unfortunately the top seat of the bleacher was lose and my son found it completely humorous to bang it up and down. I kept telling him to stop, but a few minutes later he'd start doing it again.

Finally, the buzzer sounds, and the game is over! A few pics and we can go home, right? Well just as they are about to present the trophies, bang, bang, bang. My son slams the bleacher seat again only this time his baby sister's finger is there. Her thumb turns purples and bloods pouring out. I am losing it on my son in the most calm, angry voice I can muster while I'm holding the baby and trying to snap a few pictures. I get my husbands attention, hand him the baby and run to the office to get a bandaid. I had the bandaid on for all of 10 seconds before she managed to pull it off with her teeth. A couple of minutes later, we round up all the kids and head back home!

I was exhausted, but that was nothing compared to how I felt on Monday! I literally felt like I went through a marathon and someone was beating me the entire way! It was rough but I am a very proud mom who stuck it out to watch her daughter's shing moment! Afterwards my husband innocently asked me what was wrong, I shot him the look, and said, "I just had all the kids in there all day." He quickly dropped that subject, ENOUGH SAID!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Where Did the Week Go?

I can't believe that it's Saturday night. This week has been a totally blur! So much so that Chris and I were organizing one of our daughter's birthday parties on Thursday. There was no time for invites or making elaborate plans because the party had to happen on Saturday. Yep a whole 2 day notice, and thankfully we still had people show up and she had a great day! Her team is in the league tournament in basketball; after today's game, they are 25-0!!

It's not that we procrastinated about the party. The time just got away from me. With the launch of Blossom SPA Parties on the 2nd of this month, February has literally flown by me. I have spent this week focusing on Social Media and trying to find the right advertising for the company. I always hated the term Social Media. Maybe because I didn't get it, but I've come to see that it can be very beneficial for brand awareness and for making great connections.

Trying to find the right advertising and/or press opportunities is very tricky when you're a mom of many. I try my best to be professional, but that's pretty hard when you have kids beating down your door as you're talking ad prices or when you are talking to an editor about writing a piece for their publication and your 3 year old bust in screaming, "I've got to go POTTY!!!!" Really professional.

I try my best to get my kids situated and entertained before I make calls, but it never fails that they come and find me in my hiding spot. Most people seem understanding of the interruptions, but what I wouldn't give for a peaceful work conversation. My friends are used to it. Maybe that's why I feel the need to constantly explain and forewarn everyone who I work with in advance.

One of those people is a wonderful woman named Linda. She is the Co-owner of a relatively new shop called Main Street Treasures. Boy, she has heard an earful in our few conversations. I always feel so badly, but she has been so kind and understanding, especially this week. Awhile back, Linda contacted me, and last Friday we worked out a deal for her to carry Blossom products in her store. I told her upfront about the SPA Parties, and she was still on board and understand that if the BSP takes off in her area, we both may agree that it no longer makes sense for them to carry the products. Everything was great until Tuesday- well actually Monday.

Monday was the day that I took the kids to see The Cat in the Hat; it was also the day Linda was going to meet Chris to get the products that she had ordered. Well, it was President's Day, and the kid's didn't have school. I totally forgot! I felt awful when I realized. I went from being so excited about my outing to kicking myself about screwing up something really important. Thankfully, she was nice about it, and I had Chris actually drive out to her shop to drop the products of instead her coming to meet him.

Hopefully the week coming up will be a little more calm; I don't really know how it could be, but I can dream!!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Cat in the Hat and The Boy with No Coat

I've heard the saying, "Blog like nobody's watching!" Well that's easier said than done when you've got six children. When I decided to write about my life, I thought I'd just "put it all out there!" In theory that's great, but I never want Children's Services to come swooping in on me! HAHA

I had one of those moments when I thought for sure that at any moment I would be handed the "Bad Mommy Award" and my prize would be a night at County. I am a mom, a working mom with 6 kids and I try to balance it all, but obviously I'm only one person so sometimes (ok who am I fooling- a lot of times) I fall short.

I was so excited because the Cat in the Hat was coming to our local PBK. I really wanted to take the kids, but you have to understand that I really don't jump for joy about outings by myself. I usually lose my cool about 5 times before we make it out the door. Then I feel guilty half the way there until the screaming starts over who knows what and I loose it again, but I cut myself some slack 'cause I didn't see any other ladies in there with 6 kids! LOL

I had planned to leave at 10:45 for an 11:30 book reading, but I couldn't find my camera. I had to have my camera. We actually leave at 11:03 which leaves us just enough time (if I speed a little) to get to PBK, park and rush inside. At roughly 11:07, I look in the rear view mirror and notice my son doesn't have a coat on so I ask where his coat was. He tells me that he didn't wear one. I'm like HELLO, it's February in OHIO and all of 30 degrees out. How did you not bring your coat? And how did I not notice. Hate to say this actually isn't a first.

I'm far enough away from home now that if I turn around, I'll be late for sure so what to do? I reason with myself and just keep truckin'. In my defense my son is always hot and usually is around the house only wearing shorts so that doesn't make it that bad, right? Well according to the little old lady who we passed and who shot me the most evil look ever, I won the award big time!!

By the time we pull up and park, it's about 11:28 so I throw the baby in the back of the double stroller and the 3 year old in the front of it. She's screaming bloody murder because she hasn't been in it in awhile, and I think it was adjusted to the baby's size so it was way to small for her. It's so tight, and I can't get it to budge so I unsnap one side of it and tell the kids, "RUN". The kids and I are hauling it down the side walk to the store and show up late of course. My girlfriend who I invited was already there with her twins sitting amongst all the other kids.

All and all it was a good visit, minus the fact that the batteries were dead on my camera (yeah the camera that made me late) so I had to use my daughter's camera phone because I'm such a hoarder that I refuse to delete the pics on my phone. Now it won't let me take more. The kids had a great time playing at PBK! And most importantly I didn't get a go to you no where FREE pass!

Monday, February 16, 2009

America's Next SPA Models

After church yesterday, I decided the girls and I would all do our facials using our Blossom skin care products. I don't think I'll ever get over the fact that we created these products and they have my girl's names and images all over. I sure am one proud mommy!

So we take turns in their bathroom, me and the little 2 start off and once we get our Face Masks on, the older 2 come in and go through their steps. While we're doing it, it's mostly fun with bits of drama thrown in by my 4 year old drama queen! Of course, the water's too hot, too cold, too high and about to over flow, but I'm not too phased because the girl was born for drama!!!

My 2 oldest girls are fairly laid back compared to her. The oldest is 13, a perfectionist, but usually goes with the flow. #2 is totally into sports and against all things pink and girly. I always told my husband I wanted a girly girl, well I got it 10 times over with the 4 year old. I don't think I got her to wear pants to school without a knock down drag out fight until November.

So once we get our Masks on, the real fun begins. I am obsessed with getting our picture taken. So my oldest agrees a little grudgingly for fear it will end up on this blog- boy she knows her mom. LOL Then #2 is totally against the pictures, and I'm basically threatening to ground her if she doesn't cooperate. Now to the drama girl herself. She was great with the before pictures, but by the time we get to the after she was furious that her sister gave her the wrong kind of candy, and didn't want to play nice about the pics.

So once again the threats ensue, and finally we get some shots. Please imagine his irritation the entire time while my husband has to take the photos. He knows me by now and knows I'm insane so he doesn't say to much, but I can see his annoyance all over his face.

OK, so here are some of our before and afters. Please understand that yes, I do think I am Tyra Banks in training. haha. Yes, I have been known to make my kids watch me walk a runway a time or two in my living room! LOL A girls gotta dream. I won't even start in on how I still make my family watch me do cheers and the first song dance from high school cheerleading.

Getting pics wasn't easy; I'm sitting there trying to be fierce and striking a pose all the while I'm threatening my girls to cooperate!!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

My One True Constant

Today has been a crazy day, not so much busy as crazy. I had a difficult time focusing day; maybe it was the 2 and half hours sleep I got. I had to take a little Kicker Energy spay around noon because if not I probably would have zonked out on the couch! For the first time in forever, I'm calling it in early tonight, hopefully by 11. I can't really imagine what 8 hours of sleep will feel like. Last night I forced myself to sleep around 4:30 and back up at 7 to get the kids ready.
As I go about my days shuffling kids back and forth, here and there and working all the way in between, one thing remains constant. The day may change but my constant never does, and I just can't figure it out. Why in the heck can't my kids shut the bathroom door? I mean it's not that hard, really it's not. I'm not kidding. All day long I'm like a broken record, "Shut the bathroom door. Shut the bathroom door. 'Blank' Can you PLEASE shut the bathroom door? SHUT THE BATHROOM DOOR!!! Jeez how many times do I have to repeat myself!"

The day changes, the name changes but the darn door is always open, and the baby, well she's one and all over the house so not really a baby, loves to find the open door! We have 4 bathrooms in our house so this is a full time job to say the least. I try to stay on my post, but recently they caught me slippin'. Proof posted below! Notice the tinge of yellow in the bowl. Yuck!

And being the good mom that I am I ran to get my camera BEFORE swooping her up and rushing her to the tub!! This pic wasn't taken today, but like always we had some close calls.

It's official; I'm a Blogger!

Ok so if you found this blog thinking you might get some business tips from the CEO of an up and coming beauty brand, you might want to keeping looking! If you want to read about the real life dramas of running a company from home while raising 6 children and trying to keep my sanity, then subscribe to my blog because this is bound to be a bumpy ride!

For those of you who don't know me personally, nearly 3 years ago I started a company called Blossom which is the first skin care system for girls ages 5 to 13. What did a SAHM with 5 kids (at the time) know about starting a skin care company? Not a thing, but I had 4 daughters and knew there was a need! Fast forward to today, we recently launched Blossom SPA Parties, a home party business that treats girls to their very own at home SPA experiences!

This blog won't be so much about my business but rather how I manage my kids, my business, my life! If you follow this blog, you'll quickly realize that my life is a non stop furry of craziness, but I wouldn't trade it for the world. The picture isn't always pretty, like the piles of clean laundry covering my couch and the mounds more flowing out of my laundry room. I'm not perfect and have never claimed to be so don't be too shocked as my drama unfolds!

I'll save my daily schedule for another day because that's an entry all by itself, trust me. Today, I was busy trying to focus on getting a video up on YouTube (never got that to work), getting our brand in front of more people (always a work in progress), and starting this blog (finally did it after a year of talking about it).

I was working away, and throughout the day I kept smell something "off". I checked the babies diaper repeatedly during the day. She never did have a bm, but I passed it off that she was passing gas. So about 3 o'clock, the smell is getting a stronger. I check her diaper again, and NOTHING! At this point, I do a little sniff tests to check my pits. I'm still fresh so I keep plugging away trying to build my blog.

By about 6 pm, the stench is about to overtake me. Bailey was home from cheerleading now, and I asked if she could smell it. She could and so the hunt was on!! I look under the mounds of clothes on the couch, nothing. I look under the couch, I found it or so I thought. I reach under and grab at it, well I let out a scream because I felt something squishy and it freaked me out. Bailey then reaches under for the mystery item and pulls out an oven mitt. What? How'd that get under there? Who knows- the hunt continues. After a few other interesting hidden gems, I find the culprit. The stinkiest diaper you don't even want to imagine.

I don't know how it got under there or how long it had been there, and I didn't have time to think about it because I realized that I had forgotten to buy Valentines for the party tomorrow so I was off to the store to rectify that before I had a 4 year old meltdown on my hands!

All in all it was a relatively calm day today. I feel great that I finally started this blog. I have no idea really what the future holds, but I'm sure it won't be boring.

Thanks for viewing my first blog!