Thursday, June 27, 2013

Mom in the Spotlight: Kick Ass Blogger, Johi of Confessions of a Corn Fed Girl

Johi is a typical farm raised Iowa broad.  She drives a big truck, scoops manure, adores nature, loves sushi, cusses like a sailor and rocks high heels.  She married a handsome remodeler much nicer than herself, and together they produced two adorable, very high energy, extremely loud boys.  Johi can be found making fun of Wal-Mart shoppers while shopping at Wal-Mart, cracking inappropriate jokes on the playground, drinking wine from a box, and laughing at life.  She spends a great deal of time cleaning a house that is never quite clean and trying desperately to find her lost identity that was never quite developed.  She is a writer, an illustrator, a photographer, a decorator, and a connoisseur of bad TV.  She currently resides in a half-remodeled house in Fort Collins, Colorado.  You can read more of Johi on her blog Confessions of a Cord Fed Girl.  

Visit, like, follow and idolize Johi at Amazon and on Facebook

How old are your children?  Boys?  Girls?
I am the mother of two adorable, sweet, huggable and sometimes totally rotten boys. They have real names but I call them Thing 1 and Thing 2. They are six and three. Thing 1 is learning karate, baseball and reading. Thing 2 is working on his evil laugh and world domination.

What was your life like before children?  How did your plans to re-sculpt your life to meet the needs of a family square with reality?  
Oh, my life before children. I thought I was SO BUSY. I did work with the general public for ten years, which is sort of like looking after children.

Before kids, I slept 8 hours a night, read books, had a lot of sex and went horseback riding at least three times a week. It was nice.

I am a stay at home mom who never enjoyed babysitting in my youth. Oddly enough, I do enjoy my boys, but I have been striving to nurture my own identity. Writing has been an integral part of that.

When did you start your site?  And what caused you to up and say, "Hey, world! I'm going to start a BLOG!"?
About 2 ½ years ago, my good friend from New Jersey started a blog. We had exchanged some short stories via email, strictly for one another, and she is hilarious. She sent me a link to her site and I was so excited that I wanted to comment. But I had to create a username with Google and this thingy popped up and said “START YOUR OWN BLOG FOR FREE!” Well, I LOVE free sh*t, and I had about 20 short stories written and saved on my computer, so I thought, “Sounds good to me!” and I started clicking away.

Writing has changed my life. I probably owe my girlfriend a six pack or something.

Can you talk about the name of your blog? Because I think one thing when I hear then name, and then I see this supermodelly woman, i.e. you, and I'm like "Wha?"
I’m just a farm-raised girl who likes fashion and knows how to cover my mayonnaise whiteness and cellulite with clothing and make-up. No supermodels here, however, I do have a superpower. I cannot disclose it though, because it is super-secret.

What would blogging pay dirt be for you?
This is going to sound like I’m bragging, but I assure you that I’m not. I never knew what blogging would bring for me. My blog isn’t even monetized, but I’ve honestly reached so many goals because of my little blog. In the past six months I’ve illustrated a children’s book, had essays published in two books and gotten a job writing for a magazine and website. All of it materialized because of the work that I put into my blog. And the beautiful thing is that it doesn’t feel like work because I’m simply writing down what I normally say to my friends.

Ultimately though, I desire a sh*t ton of money, a big mother-loving book and movie deal. Why not? As Daniel Tosh says, “Whoever says that money can’t buy happiness is a liar. Money can buy a Wave Runner. Have you ever seen a sad person on a Wave Runner?”

Who would play you in the movie? 
I’ll be playing myself and Hugh Jackman and/or Ryan Reynolds will be playing Brock. I wouldn’t enjoy it too much though because I’m nothing if not professional and it would strictly be work. Naturally, both men would be required to be shirtless and oiled throughout the entire filming.

The choice/moment in your life you wish you could plug into a "Sliding Doors" app?
 Ooooo! That’s a tough one! Even though I’m sort of a chronic complainer (it’s part of my charm?), I actually LOVE my life and all the people in it. Most of them have transpired out of my crappy choices, so I really have no desire to see what my other decisions would have led to. Live in the moment, right?

That’s a boring answer.

How about if I say: “The moment I rescued the small Native American boy from the charging buffalo while riding my horse through the Black Hills of South Dakota. He was narrowly in my grip and I often wonder what my life would have been like if he slipped through my arms and into the stampede of hooves below.”

Is that a better answer?

Article(s) of clothing, in your opinion, that say(s) everything about a person? 
Their shoes say so much, and probably their underwear does as well.  Although some things I really don’t need to know.
I really am judging the whole picture/outfit. Yes, I said judging. We all do it, unlike most people, I admit to it. Walmart and the airport are a toss-up for my favorite place to people watch (i.e. Judge people).

Your best "I am roasting in Mommy Hell" moment?
Oh good night. Pick one?

I told my children that I would burn their toys in our backyard fire pit if they couldn’t pick them up. This was after they had repeatedly watched that freaking Toy Story 3 movie.

What are the three activities that feed your soul the most?
I have more than three.I’m going to list them because I truly NEED them all.

  1.  Horseback riding
  2. Walking/Hiking
  3. Girl’s Night Out
  4. Visiting with my extended family
  5. Spending time in the mountains
  6.  Gardening
  7.  Sleeping
  8. Reading
  9. Writing
  10. Drawing
  11. Dancing like a fool
  12. Quiet times with my husband and our dudes
  13. Coffee 

Not necessarily in that order.

Your advice for newbie mommy bloggers?
I don’t consider myself a mommy blogger, but I would say to anyone who is writing anything: Be bold, be fearless, and always write with an honest voice.

I have so much left to learn that I sort of feel like a dope giving anyone advice about writing, but I would LOVE to talk about shoes.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Life Coaching from Your Three Year Old

1.  Stop and smell the roses!
If I went directly from here to there, I’d be unable to yell, “Hey Mom, is that a man or a woman?” OR pick up that filthy, pungent brown glass bottle lying in the grass AND grab some flowers out of that person’s pretty, pretty garden!  The world is a better place when you go from A to B by way of X, J and G, followed by a quick jaunt to T.  It’s the ride, baby, the ride. 

2.  Vote with your feet!
Sometimes I get served “food” that is so yucky I want to call child services and say I’ve been poisoned.  And sometimes my mom wants me to do things she says are fun and good for my brain, but I think these things are her way of telling me she wishes she had given birth to Copernicus.  If I don’t like it, I’m walkin’ away!  That’s minutes of my life I can’t get back.  Life is too short to sit through awful!

3. Good things come to those who wait.
What ever happened to patience?  You mean you can’t wait for me to zip and button my jacket, even if I have the fine motor skills of someone whose hands have been replaced by oven mitts?  Is my need to arrange fifty blankets and stuffed animals before my bedtime story really taking up so much of your precious time?  Rushing will kill a soul faster than 5 minutes of The Kardashians.  Slow down.  It’s good for you.

4.  The Squeaky Wheel Gets the Oil (Note: #3 only applies if you are being waited on as opposed to doing the waiting).
I’ve heard that people will pay attention to me if I wait, but I tried that once, and got a diaper rash that made my butt redder than a baboon’s.  Not asking means not getting.  So ask.  On the minute, if not every 8 seconds. “In a minute,” and “I’m working on it” are totally unacceptable answers.  Stop only when they initiate punishment.

5.  Scream and shout and let it all out.
Tears are like poop.  Not meant to be held in.  Just keep crying until you’re emotionally cleaned out.  Then take a nap. Way more restful and less caloric than a jug of Yellowtail.  Or so I’ve heard. . .

6.  Don’t get all freaked out over your clothes.
I wear what makes me feel good.  People who judge others on their clothes are mean and silly and should have to eat boogers. After all, it shouldn’t be about looking at the girl in the hideously mismatched outfit -- it should be about what’s INSIDE the girl in the hideously mismatched outfit.  

7.  If You Don't Want to Talk to Them. HIDE!
Standing behind Daddy's leg, looking right at someone and refusing to say "hi" shows you run the show! They might try extra hard to win you over for a while, but then will probably decide you are weird, shy or simply rude and give up.  A small price to pay for not having to talk to some nincompoop, really. 

8. Filters are overrated.  
Honesty at all times is a win-win situation.  It really is.  Because when you tell someone, “I don’t like your face,” when they are swollen from an infected root canal, and then mere hours later spontaneously run up and regale them with kisses and hugs and “I love yous”, it says love. 

It says trust.

It says you always know where you stand with me.

Because I have no desire to impress.  No artifice. No ulterior motive.   

I'm three.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Mom in the Spotlight: Rockstar Blogger, Tara of You Know It Happens at Your House Too

Pretty Blogger!

How old are your children?
I have three amazing girls, ages 11, 6 and 5.  My two incredible boys are 8 and 3.  Yep, that makes for 11, 8, 6, 5, and 3.  Yes, I’m busy.  Yes, they were all birthed from my uterus.  Yes, they were all planned.  

No, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

What was your life all about before you had kids?

Um, hmmmm….life before kids?  That seems like it happened in a previous life, not this current one.  I know I was a middle school and high school social studies teacher.  I know we slept in on the weekends and my grocery bill was minimal.  I know our house was quiet and remarkably clean.  We did whatever we wanted to and we spent many a night drinking beer and playing cards with friends.  Minus the beer and cards, it was pretty boring and monotonous now that I think about it.

What made you leap into the blogosphere?  How long have you been blogging?

It wasn’t until friends and family started urging me to do it that I finally took the plunge about a year and a half ago.  When you get enough people telling you that you are hilarious, before long you start to believe them.  It was a great morale booster and little do they know that they forced me into this gig.  You don’t want to disappoint those who are supporting you before you even start.   So here I am.  The sometimes entertaining, rarely grammatically correct, almost always sarcastic, wine drinking writer of a more popular than I ever thought it would be blog.  By popular I mean more people than my mother and my husband read it.

Blogging is something that starts out as a fun hobby, and then before you know it, you're easily spending six hours a day at the computer while your home looks and feels like a post-event frat house.  How do you find blogging balance?

I have no balance.  I’m unorganized, at times unmotivated, and usually un-inspired.   For me blogging really is a hobby.  My attitude towards my blog is that it was started purely for fun.  Something for me to do when I have thoughts that I want to put somewhere.  I have a paying job that I don’t really enjoy --  one I have to have to pay the bills.  I don’t want my blog to turn into something that I HAVE to do, I NEED it to stay something that I ENJOY doing.  If it turns into a job, a thing that I am forced to do then it loses the allure of FUN.  Once it isn’t fun, the writing becomes craptastic.  No thanks.

What's something you love that is totally out of character with your personality?

I love to make the birthday cakes.  Six times a year (the Hubs gets one too) you can find me elbow deep in cake batter and frosting making whatever their little heart desires.  It’s never fancy, always stressful (mainly because my standards of perfection are ridonkulous), but the smile on the face of the birthday baby makes it all worth it.  Plus I like to eat cake, so it really is a win/win situation.

Name three things - foods, things, articles of clothing or beauty products you'd without question go down fighting for.

  • My iPhone.  You want my iPhone?  I will cut you. It is my lifeline to the outside world and it contains all my music.  Without the music I cannot survive.
  • Flip-flops.  My piggies need their freedom.  They don’t like containment and they love the fresh air.  I will beat you off with my flip-flops if I have to.
  • My tweezers. Some things just need to be tended to and amazing things can happen with a pair of tweezers.

The current fashion trend that makes your eyes bleed?  

I was shopping for shorts just the other day and I left with a pair of freaking capris because I couldn’t find a pair of shorts that wouldn’t’ require a full Brazilian before I could wear them out in public.  If you bend over and I can see your cheeks, your shorts are too damn short.  No one wants to see that.  If you want to show off your nether regions I’m sure there is a room with a pole looking for new recruits.

If money were no object where would you fly off to tomorrow?  

Somewhere alone.  Anywhere tropical with white sandy beaches and crystal clear water.  I love my kids, but any mother knows that there comes that time in which we need a break.  Right now, we are over a month into summer vacation and I need a break.  I need my girlfriends, a beach, a cabana boy bringing an endless supply of drinks, some amazing music, and Johnny Depp if he isn’t too busy.

Your worst FML Mommy tale?

I will just have to say it involves three young kids, a stressed out dad, a very pregnant mother, and air travel.  You can read all about it in this post because it’s just too painful to type it all out again.  Lessons Learned: Air Travel With Littles

What advice do you have for new moms?

Do it your way and always take time for yourself.  Every time you turn around someone will be giving you advice.  Listen to them, but never feel obligated to utilize their advice.  You know your baby better than anyone.  You know what works and what doesn’t.  You are under no obligation to anyone else to do it their way, so do what works for you and your little one.  Then don’t forget to take time to decompress.  

This mothering biz is hard yo; don’t let the stress get to you.  Take time for a walk or dinner out with your girlfriends.  Even if it’s just a nice bath with a glass of wine once the kids go to bed, do something to relax every now and then.  You are worthless to everyone else around you if you can’t keep your shit together.  It really is one of those everyone wins kind of situations.

Tara of You Know it Happens at Your House Too is the mother of five young kids, wife to one hard working farmer. She is the sometimes hilarious, sometimes serious, usually sarcastic writer of the amazingly popular (in her own mind) blog You Know it Happens at Your House Too. In her free time she enjoys wiping butts and noses all while picking up Legos and Polly Pockets. If she ever had a moment to herself she would go pee, then relax with a nice, cheap glass (bottle) of wine and any movie starring Johnny Depp. She has completely forgotten what it is like to do anything alone. Tara lives in Kansas with her husband and her five children. You can also find her wasting time and ignoring her kids on Facebook and Twitter.

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