spoiling the favorite

Here under The Big Top, it is no secret that we play favorites. “Experts” agree and opine all the time that parents, whether they want to admit it or not, do play favorites. Some parents write about it and become viral media sensations. There’s even a freaking how-to guide for us more indecisive parents. And of course growing up with four siblings, each one of my kids are always trying to figure out who is my favorite child…right now.

Well this week “the current favorite” received a little something from me.

Not because she wanted it…because they ALL wanted it. Not because I had the disposable income to buy it for her because I don’t and if I did that money would be going to stuff like bills that need to be paid. I won this sweet little iPad mini. Boys and girls sometimes you do win those social media contests that you must like or retweet or repost or share or whatever.

The more you know!

But I have an iPad. Gifted to me by my Dad…probably on a day where I was the favorite. My iPad is great.

Cue the sucking up and presentations from my circus act of why each individual clown should have an iPad from me.

Actually my clowns surprised me and did not do so much sucking up…or at least not as much as I expected which could have been a little bit disappointing kids. I’m just saying. No actually because I really didn’t talk too much about winning the iPad to them, or anyone else…well, except for my darling husband because I knew each and everyone of my darling clowns would LOVE for me to gift them with an iPad and OMG the dilemma of choosing…people the struggle is really real.



It is real.

After much thought, consideration and discussion with my darling husband, the father of these clowns, the decision was made.

They all could use it.They all WANTED it. They all (in their minds) needed it. They all definitely deserved such a gift because, frankly, Bill and I have FIVE pretty damn awesome kids. Still, we both decided that the one who needed it the most RIGHT NOW should have it…the one who finds herself with no working computer. The one who has a phone that no longer connects to the Internet too. The one who recently moved from one part of Cali to another and needs to get settled back to work and (soon I hope) back to school. The one who is our favorite…today…this week.

This playing favorites thing as parents is hard! Still we are rewarded….with hugs, lots of hugs and thanks….

and iPad selfies of their gorgeous, happy smiles.

This week’s favorite child appropriately spoiled…check. Next week will likely be Daniel because Back to School and all that.

Meanwhile, I am enjoying the Nursing Handbook app on my iPad. Thank you Wolters Kluwer Health.




subdued, simpler, smarter, selfiebration-ish

Back from BlogHer14, missing pretty much all the parties and the sessions yet my head and my heart are full.

For me, there was scarcely any time for pictures but plenty of time for meeting up with old friends; not all as life and commitments always are calling, but some…enough to fill me up with the love, inspiration and encouragement I have been missing…needing. And all together we were enjoying our time. Time to hug a lot. Time to network. Time to talk about our writing, our photography and what drives us to post and create on our spaces. Reflecting on the fact that, yes, we are the “veteran bloggers”. Time taken to realize that, OMG, our kids are growing (grown) up much too fast while we seem to be getting older, perhaps grayer, achier and a little creakier. No one really wants to talk about those hormonal hot flashes but thank goodness for the Yoplait Greek Yogurt fans one could pick up in the Expo hall along with some other swag.

side note: Today I learned that swag is actually an acronym for “stuff we always get”. So says my darling daughter, Abby….The more you know.

I do regret not planning to attend the full conference as it did seem to be getting back to the basics…the blogging, the writing, the putting ourselves out there because we are enough in everything that we do everyday.

Thank goodness for Twitter and BlogHer live blogging everything. I know it’s not the same but it’s almost enough.

Meanwhile there were still many opportunities to be engaged here networking, walking through the expo, screening a movie coming soon to a theater near you, enjoying delicious food while talking with incredibly smart people about that which they are passionate about, sitting together in a suite with an incredible view discussing women, health issues, politics, mid-term elections, changing the world, telling our stories, empowering and encouraging one another.

Meanwhile, Khloe Kardashian showed up in the Expo Hall.


This was a much more subdued, simpler BlogHer and I definitely liked it. I’ll write more about it later. For now it’s family circus time.



the best thing

Passing the time in the dance studio while waiting on Jodie to finish teaching her class and Daniel to finish his hip hop class I did what I usually do.

Hello Twitter!

And while reading through my peoples tweets I came across this:

Good ol’ cousin Joe. No, we aren’t really related. Then again…perhaps…maybe…

But I digress…like I often do…Bill complains often how exhausting conversation with me can be because I go off on crazy tangents all the time.


Wait! What was I talking about?



Cousin Joe wants to know what was the best thing that happened to me today.

I start to scroll through the answers other people share with him…

…holding new babies for the first time
…good news from the doctor, no cancer!
…safe travels home
…band concerts
…praise from a student’s parents
…breakfast dates
…dinner dates
…ice cream dates
…song writing success

And then I try to think again what was the best thing that happened to me today…

I’m stumped.

No, it wasn’t a bad day or a horrible day or a dark day. It was just a day. A day where I took Jodie to school then took Daniel to school. It was a day where I sipped my coffee while watching the Cardinals take their oaths before they were to begin the papal selection process. Then I did the dishes and scrubbed the baseboards upstairs. I tried to explain to Abby why popes always seem to be really old guys; followed by a discussion of what I learned from Anatomy & Physiology. I wanted to ask her if perhaps she was reconsidering her plan to be the next E! reporter and on air personality and maybe following her mom into nursing but she had to go tanning.


Soon enough it was time to go pick up Jodie from school then pick up Daniel. Then there was homework and dinner prep and more homework followed by taking Daniel to hip hop class. On the way home from dance, I debated with Daniel the merits of taking a shower and washing every part of his body, including his hair.

Eleven year olds and hygiene is just too challenging…and no, it is not just a “boy thing”…trust me.

I help Daniel blow dry his hair then kiss him good night and here I am…trying to figure out what was the best thing that happened to me today.



Well my hair looked good.

There is that.

It is very important to look good when one is scrubbing baseboards, chauffering kids and working on 4th grade homework.

Too shallow?

Sorry, Cousin Joe. Today my life was boring. Perhaps THAT is the best thing about today.

all banged up and then some

So this happened…

and this


My daughter Hollie is a hair rock star! Anyone and everyone in the Central Valley MUST have her do their hair.

And the excitement continues…

Yes, the Big Top was on the list of landmarks for Endeavour to fly over in California yesterday. Of course I got all excited. I got even more excited when Deirdre Fitzpatrick read my tweet on the air.

And there is this…

Yes, dear god, another one of the clowns is a licensed driver. Four down and one more to go…in six years or so.

the twouble with twitter

My Dad is writing letters to his girls again. I don’t know about my two sisters but I do enjoy reading them…even if I am such a slacker in writing back. They are three pages or so filled with his memories of his much younger days, his regrets, his pride in his girls and his thoughts on all that is going on in this world around us today along with lots of warnings and advice. I have to admit that I rolled my eyes over his warnings about the perils of Facebook and what I might say or post on it. Good lord, Dad, what am I, twelve? Give me some credit, I thought. My immediate supervisor is my “friend”, so are my uncles and my dad. Trust me, I’m not going to revel in my most recent drunken girls-gone-wild exploits there…oh wait, what exploits? So I took his advice and tucked it away right next to my own common sense and wisdom.

I do have some, you know…wisdom, that is. No, really, I do.

In Dad’s most recent letter we see that he has discovered this thing called twitter. I guess he just discovered it…or at least I am to believe that he just found this crazy, new-fangled means of social networking. My Dad, being my Dad who happens to care about and worry a lot over his smart, adult daughters warned us of the hazards of tweeting activity. He is right, just like Facebook, there is a lot of potential to get into trouble with one’s tweets. Rest assured Dad, I am careful.

Still trouble can and does find me sometimes. That is the twouble, er, trouble with Twitter and pretty much any online activity that involves social interacting.

I follow several local news media as well as national media sources because I want to try to stay in-the-know in this age of instant news. See it isn’t all just about me tweeting that I’m lacing up my shoes to go running! So while I was doing my cool-down at the gym this evening I quickly scanned through the tweets that I follow and came across a tweet from a local news station with a lead-in to a news story about a scandal at my kids’ school.

“Wow!”, I thought.

All the rumors and gossip are apparently true since this “reliable” news source is tweeting some of it. When I get home, I catch the news segment on the local news station and find no mention in the interview or report of the rumor tweeted as news by the “reliable” news source.

“Wow!”, I thought.

Nothing like salacious rumors and innuendo to get a viewer to tune in. Yes, I tweeted that. I tweeted that because while there is a lot to say in this town about the scandal most of it is pretty much here-say, gossip and innuendo. The school, the parties involved and the local police all were not saying anything else at that time except to confirm that yes, the teacher was placed on leave pending investigation by the school administration and the police. So yes, I tweeted that. Then I received a direct message back:

FOX40 Before you jump to conclusions with snarky comments, our reporter told me on the phone she said that in the interview.

Snarky? Really? Hey, I’m the first to admit that I can be snarky, but really? I was just questioning the use of gossip and rumors as a legitimate lead-in to a news story. Um, okay. I guess I am being snarky. In the meantime, I am trying to use this sad, twisted event as a teachable moment for my kids, my kids who have been hurt by this scandal. I can’t explain the poor choices made by their teacher. I certainly can’t condone them nor defend them either. But until we know more I can teach my kids about the damage all this gossip does to the parties involved, to their school, to them as students of this teacher. So call me snarky, but I’m just trying to be a good parent in this situation. Yes, I tweeted that back. I also contacted the general manager and news director of the station as well. No, not because of the let’s-grab-some-ratings-with-this-scandalous-story. No I contacted them because how professional is it to call a concerned viewer “snarky”? After all, this person was tweeting while representing the local news station. Is this how this station wants to be represented on Twitter? I guess one could call it “misplaced outrage” and the tweeter did but really there was no misplaced outrage. Trust me, as more of this scandal at the kids’ school comes out I am outraged, righteously so. But trust me, it is directed at the teacher involved. There was no outrage directed towards the online editor of this station, just a little shock.

Again I thought, “Wow!”

So the news director got back to me this evening with just the right words to say. My point was taken as valid and he apologized. I accepted and thought okay, it’s done.

No, it’s not done.

Why do people like @@Nicurnmama feel the need to try to get people fired? ‘specially in this economy. People have too much time these days.

People are morons.

Really? Okay, now “Matthew” is using his private twitter account. Good for him! The only problem is “Matthew” just so happens to list his employer, the local news station, on his twitter profile. Honestly, dude, you are supposed to be a news professional, the online news editor and you behave like you are…twelve? But what if I did do something that might cause this twenty-three year old boy, yes, BOY to get something more than a reprimand? No, that was not my intent. So I contacted his news editor and asked him to please know that I had no intention to see this kid lose his job over his immature behavior directed at me. I also sent a tweet to “Matthew” with the same assurances.

@Nicurnmama Yes, indeed the are. I stand by what I said earlier, though I shouldn’t have sent it from the @FOX40 account.

People who are easily offended like @Nicurnmama should watch FOX40’s Larry Mendte about misplaced outrage – http://bit.ly/dio4UT about 2 hours ago.

Wow, just wow! I actually tweeted that. That was all I could say. Then I came across another tweet on my feed.

@RadioMatthew can you stop trash talking my mom? it really doesn’t make you seem tough or better than her.

Dude, you trashed talk this kid’s mother and now you got her all riled up. Perhaps you are twelve after all…okay, I’ll give you a little grace and say you are thirteen, like my daughter who tweeted this. It was then that I had to walk away, be the grown up and get my kid out of my twitter fight because as much as I love and adore her for defending her mother, I can fight my own battles.

Besides, here was yet another teachable moment for my kids. Twitter is fun. Twitter is a powerful, amazing tool in the world of social networking. I have made many valuable connections both personal and professional. Twitter, like other social networking sites and pretty much everywhere else we are online are powerful tools. They are virtual calling cards that we leave for everyone and anyone to pick up. The thing about these calling cards is just about anyone can and does pick them up and they are not biodegradeable…even when we take them down or delete them. I have learned this from a little experience and from the wisdom of  a pretty awesome social media giant, Allison Worthington. Thank you Alli! Twitter is powerful…it is a powerful tool and it can sometimes be a powerful stain on you personally and professionally so like “Matthew” said, one should stand by everything they say there…especially, “Matthew” when you are representing your employer.

I hope you learned that lesson. I know that my thirteen year old learned that. In all seriousness, “Matthew”, I do hope that you got nothing more than a reprimand from your supervisor and that you have gained some much needed wisdom and grace. I was twenty-three once too. Thank goodness I learned my lessons from my own youthful mistakes. I hope that you will too.