Sunday, March 20, 2011

NEW WEBSITE

Hey everyone. Please Mom has moved to www.nicochic.com! Go check it out!!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Feathers

Photo by Gwen Aucoin www.gwenaucoin.com


I know ther're about as trendy as beanie babies and I should probably leave them to 15 year old girls, but guess what..I love feathers in my hair. I've put in my order, so if you're in the mood for a splash of color in your hair (for just a few bucks), let me know. After all, Festival time is just around the corner folks:-)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Cavity


Photo by Gwen Aucoin www.gwenaucoin.com
We pile into our van and we head out.

We're going to the dentist.

I could think of a thousand things I would rather do on a sunny Friday morning, but it was times for new tooth brushes anyway.

Thankfully everyone was in a good mood. Good mood being no one had bitten, slapped or clawed at each other as of yet.

The bribing tactics I had used the night before seemed to be having a positive effect.

''You know Emmylou, if you're nice at the dentist’s office, mommy will go buy you that Lalaloopsy doll you've been asking for since Christmas!''

Hey, don't judge. You've done it too!

Miraculously, Joseph volunteered to go first.

(This is a new tactic I've been using to get them to do something they would normally otherwise run far far away from. I ask, ''Who wants to go first?''. They ALL want to go first just to aggravate each other. It works like a charm for things such as nail clipping, bathing and shots!:-))

Emmylou went second.

Luke went last and that's when the dreaded word was spoken.....cavity!

Luke had a cavity way back in one of his molars.

When I ask what could have possibly caused this cavity (as if I didn't know), she answers with the obvious, ''Well, does he eat a lot of candy?''. To which my husband replies,''Yes.''. Which translates in my head to, ''You're the absolute worse mom in the world, letting your kids eat all that candy that has eaten away at this poor innocent boy's baby tooth!''

(Often, this is how our conversations go......interpretation is not my friend!)

Yes, I admit my kids DO eat candy. But, I still insist that they don't necessarily eat A LOT of candy.

I like to think of their eating habits as more ''balanced''.

I try and make sure they eat their vegetables, but when your daughter tells you at the dinner table, ''I don't have to eat my vegetables to grow big, the hiccups will take care of that!'', what am I supposed to say? I mean really, who can argue with that:-)

My thought pattern is if I tell them NO to candy, then they'll just want it more. I've learned that the hard way:-) (Reverse psychology has also been a great tool in my child rearing tool box!)

I'm just not the mom giving away celery sticks at Halloween...not that there's anything wrong with that:-)
So anyway, the dental hygienist could obviously see the ''I hate myself for letting this happen to my child'' look in my eyes, so she nicely explained that sometimes these things just happen....even though we both knew that wasn’t true.

I appreciated the kind gesture.

So they all got light-up tooth brushes that seem to help the teeth brushing situation and hopefully another cavity situation.

That night, Emmylou asked me if I had special eyes that could see the little ''bugs'' that cause cavities. To which I answered, ''Of course! Now keep brushing!''

That also seems to help!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Today


Today I am thankful.

Today I am thankful for my 2 year old's dirty mouth rubbing on my cloth couch.

For stomach aches right before bedtime.

For poop on my floor...human poop.

For my 3 hour good night's sleep.

For runny noses..wiped on my pants.

For having little ''assistants'' who ''assist'' me at making dinner.

For the absence of solitude in my bathroom.

Today I am thankful because my home has not been taken away by the ocean or shaken to the ground.

Today I am thankful because I know where I will be sleeping tonight.



Thursday, March 10, 2011

Carème


Lent

A time for sacrifice, repentance and self-denial.

This year, I started off this period of self-deprivation with a delectable crawfish stew, homemade macaroni and cheese, creamy potato salad and last but not least, deliciously tart key lime pie.

I love Lent in the deep south!

No meat on Fridays you say? Well how about a huge crawfish boil paired with fried catfish and shrimp étouffée.

Cajuns sure know the TRUE meaning of ''fasting''.

Growing up in a Catholic environment, Lent, or ''carème'' in French, was always a significant time of year.


I personally remember dreading it since I knew I would have to ''give-up'' something I really liked.


One year our parents made us give up watching English TV. We only had two channels and one TV in our house, so that pretty much left us with one French Canadian channel and no place to hide. And no offense to anyone, but if you happened to have watched French Canadian television in the late 80s then you can sympathize with us four deprived children:-)

I don't remember if we lasted until Easter, but I still remember it like it was yesterday...so I suppose the purpose of it all was attained.

My husband's most memorable Lent was when he and his family would say the rosary every single night.

Compared to that, not watching English TV would be a walk in the park:-)

So this year, instead of asking my kids to give up something (and due to the fact that I'm not a uber committed practicing Catholic), we are going to grow a garden. It's my attempt at getting Emmylou to appreciate vegetables and to lessen her gag reflex at the sight of a carrot.

As for me personally, I'm not sure what Lent is going to consist of.

But, maybe I'll start with depriving myself with a piece of scrumptious red velvet cake topped with divine cream cheese icing.

What happens in your house for Lent?

(Photo by Patrick CharpiatPatrick.charpiat at fr.wikipedia [CC-BY-SA-2.0-fr (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/fr/deed.en) or CC-BY-SA-2.0-fr (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/fr/deed.en)], from Wikimedia Commons)

p.s Don't forget to click on the ''like'' below if you enjoy my jibber jabber:-) 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Monday, March 7, 2011

Saturday, March 5, 2011

It's Mardi Gras Brah!


It's Mardi Gras.

A time of year when I have a perfectly reasonable excuse for my disrespectful tardiness......the parade barricades!

An entire week when otherwise inexcusable behavior can be rationalized by the simple phrase, ''But it's Mardi Gras brah!''

A time where packing my kids in our van and driving in near torrential rains and wind to get to Keller's Bakery for the blueberry cream cheese king cake I had been dreaming of devouring for the past 2 months.....seems like a perfectly safe and sane thing to do. (In my defense, the tornado warnings only started AFTER we were already half way there!)

The few days a year when bands throughout Acadiana can play the same song, over and over again, and still be adored and praised with loud applaud and approving cheers every single time....

Les Mardi Gras s'en vient de tout partout,
Tout alentour le tour du moyeu,

Ça passe une fois par an, demandé la charité,
Quand-même ça c'est une patate, une patate ou des gratons....

Where I grew up, there was no Mardi Gras. Well, that's to say there was no Mardi Gras celebration. The closest thing to a Mardi Gras a celebration we had at home was my mom baking up a storm in our kitchen (she makes the yummiest chocolate eclairs) and having pancakes with lots of syrup for dinner.
When I first moved here, I have to admit, it took me a while to ''get it''.

I was all like, ''But boo, what the hell do you do with all these beads after you catch them?''

After I finally understood that it wasn’t what you did with the beads AFTER the parade, but rather just showing off to the people next to you how many beads YOU were able to catch, I too started my quest to become the world's best bead hoarder.

I have yet to do a courir de Mardi Gras in the country, but I'm guessing it's going to happen soon since my 4 year old Luke will stop at nothing to get the chance to chase a chicken around.

So anyway, I'm wishing you all a safe and happy Mardi Gras. And, remember, Johnston street to Cajundome Blvd is impossible and you have to take the back way to Keller's bakery because of construction on Jefferson street!

Cheers!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

An Ounce of Charlie Sheen


So Tuesday I'm on my couch, it's 8:45 p.m and I'm contemplating going to bed since I knew in about 4 hours I'd be hearing those tiny footsteps coming down the stairs and then the whisper in my ear, ''Mommy, can you come sleep with me please?'' Which I would indulge and spend the next 4 hours with cold feet kicking me in the back. Fantastic.

But, as I'm about to turn off the TV, the 20/20 intro music starts and Elizabeth Vargas shoots me a look like, “You better sit your ass back down on the couch cause what you're about to witness is going to f&*#ing blow your socks off!”

So I sat and watched.

I watched much like I watch shows like TLC's Hoarders or Toddlers and Tiaras: peering from under my blanket since I can't decide if I really want to watch this insane debauchery or throw my bowl of ice cream at the TV screen.

I have to say, watching Charlie Sheen chain smoke, sip his pink drink (which I'm assuming was not cool aid) and rant incoherently for an hour was probably the most entertaining thing I've watched on TV since VH1's Flavor Of Love.

(Yes, I am a TV whore!)

I want to point out that I do realize that this was probably not entertaining to his friends and family. But for me, this kind of “entertaining” isn't the “hey let's see how fast we can drink all these beers without puking" type of "entertaining".


I am just totally baffled by the human mind and the fact that we are all just one 7 day crack binge away from totally losing touch with reality.

Personally, I have been too close for comfort to this metaphoric crack binge. After 2 months with no sleep, no booze and a screaming alien like creature hanging from by boobs constantly, I could have undeniably convinced myself that I was a “total bitchin' rock star from Mars!”

Although, I am still not completely convinced that this performance wasn’t just that...a performance. After all, the man is a bitchin' actor!

Whatever the cause or intention of this bizarre, erratic behavior, I would personally like to thank Charlie Sheen for gracing us with “the Charlie Sheen drug”, “Adonis DNA”, “ droopy eyed armless children” and last but not least, “tiger blood”.

Thank you for bestowing upon us a plethora of content for us ''human folk's” facebook status updates, twitter feeds, blogs and comedic acts!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Seminar


I'm going to a seminar and I feel great.

I'm dressed in something other than my husband's extra-large t-shirt and the sweatpants I've been wearing all week, and I feel like a million bucks.

It is the very first time, since my daughter's birth, 5 years ago, that I'm going to be mingling with adults and the words ''play date'' have not been spoken.

Ok, I'm exaggerating, but this much is true. I never thought going to a web optimization/internalization and social marketing seminar would get me all fired up!

But it did!

It's the first seminar or anything of the sort (that had nothing do to with child birth or breast feeding) that I was attending in the last half decade.

On my way over there, I feel great. My hair looks good, I'm bopping to my jams and I'm processing various business opportunities.

I feel alive again.

http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=1499
In recent years, the lack of sleep, baby talk and me talking about myself in the third person... “Mommy needs to take a time out right now”.....have made me start to doubt my abilities in the ''work-place'' (I'm putting quotations because my house could also be considered a workplace!).

What's particularly scary for me is, theoretically, I have never been in the ''work-place''.

After I graduated from my second undergraduate degree (my first being a general science baccalaureate and my second a teaching degree), I moved here to Lafayette, got married and got pregnant 3 weeks later.

For the past 5 years I've been wiping butts and refereeing fights between irrational, unreasonable toddlers.

So, the thought of getting out into the big bad world scared me.

Until now. until this seminar.

I feel confident. I'm asking the right questions. The panel members seem to be genuinely interested in what I'm trying to accomplish. I'm a rock star (lol..as much a rock star as you can be in a web optimization/internalization and social marketing seminar).

The point is, I was not intimidated.

Quite the opposite, I felt surer of myself then I think I've ever felt in such an environment.

It finally dawned on me that maybe, these past 5 years, of staying up all night with fever and ear infections and of damage control after one kid picks the other one's toy, have made me a more confident, strong-willed person.
I guess that's what you call life experience.

And, experience is something I'm starting to have!
















Sunday, February 27, 2011

Hope


On this quiet Sunday afternoon, I just wanted to take a time-out to mention a friend of mine, a mom who in the past 4 years, has shown tremendous dedication, patience and strength.

My friend Melissa has a 4 year old son, Beckett, a handsome little boy with the bluest eyes you have ever seen. Beckett was recently diagnosed with autism.

I can't begin to imagine what Melissa has gone through, throughout the process of this diagnosis, but I am in total awe of how she has handled it with remarkable grace and undeniable perseverance.

It is moms like Melissa who make me strive to be the best parent I can be.

Beckett has been a gift to our family. To show us that everyone is different, but beautiful just the same.

Here is a link to a video that touched my heart and I'm sure will touch yours.




5th annual Walk For Hope and Family Fun Day to support Autism Society of Acadiana will be held in Parc International, downtown Lafayette, from 9am to 1pm, on March 26th. LA Online Registration closes at midnight on 3/20/11. After then only walk up registrations ($20) will be taken.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Allons pêcher papa!


When I was nursing Luke through the night I would dream of a time when his father would be able to take him fishing for the week-end. Well, that time has come and I'm as happy and grateful as I thought I'd be! :-) Bring home some trout and reds Luke!

Friday, February 25, 2011

POP


''Now can I please go outside and play mom?''

''No, you're going to sit here and watch until Johnny and Baby do ''the lift'' and Baby's dad realizes that Johnny wasn’t Penny's baby daddy after all!''

For those of you who don't know, Johnny is Patrick Swayze and Baby is Jennifer Grey in the BEST romantic, I want to abandon my plans of being a successful doctor and instead teach the Mambo with Patrick Swayze at a family holiday camp, movie....Dirty Dancing.

I have this obsession with making sure my kids are connoisseurs of the pop icons I was obsessed with growing up, both during my childhood and my later college years. Well, the pop sensations ''I'' consider icons.

There is no way in hell my kids will not recognize a song from the Thriller or Like A Virgin album.

Some parents want their kids to be able to read before even starting school, I, on the other hand think it's undeniably important that they are able to perform, with their air guitar of course, the beyond sensational guitar solo from Led Zeppelin’s Whole Lot of Love. (Hardly what you would call a pop icon from the 80-90s but nonetheless of utmost importance....and this proven by the fact that Word spellcheck just corrected the word Zeppelin when I accidentally wrote it with only 1 p).

(I'm going to save the Snoop and Dr. Dre for when they get just a little older).

Music and movies played a leading role in my life and still do.

Am I alone?

Maybe it's a way for me to keep in touch with my younger self , or maybe it's a just a need for me to want to share with my kids the things that helped shaped my life and experiences.

(I'm sure my parents are real happy to hear that Dirty Dancing and Snoop are things I consider life shaping factors in my life:-))

I try not to get to compulsive about it, but rest assured, I am thoroughly satisfied when my kids scream out ''Micheal Jackson'' after only a few notes of P.Y.T on the radio.

I am fully aware that they, themselves, are going to have their very own life shaping music and movie icons, but at least they will KNOW about mine....even if half the time they'll be rolling their eyes at their crazy mom doing air drum solos to Ramble On.

(p.s I did not actually force my daughter to sit through Dirty Dancing....well, just through the good parts:-))

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

10 Things I Hate (Love) About You!


photo by Gwen Aucoin www.gwenaucoin.com





  1. Your long razor sharp nails.

  2. Your incessant need for juice.

  3. Caillou.

  4. Your sticky hands.

  5. Your need to stand on my bare feet while I'm cooking dinner. It F#&!ing hurts!

  6. Waking me up in the middle of the night to ask me if it's time to wake up.

  7. The fact that you can break the Turkish vase my husband lugged around for weeks in his backpack and just turn around and ask me for some Mac-n-cheese.

  8. Your obsession with Mac-n-cheese.

  9. Not making it in time to the bathroom because you were too busy “styling” your hair with Vick's vapor rub.

  10. Getting mad at ME for the fact that you have to put clothes on before leaving the house.


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Your're teaching them French?


I am raising bilingual kids.

Actually, I'm raising trilingual kids....French, English and whatever the acid trip inspired language DJ Lance from Yo Gabba Gabba is talking.

French is their maternal language, but they have learned to speak English almost by osmosis...they had to in order to survive in a predominately English region.

My first language is French, but I've basically known English since a time when Sesame Street hadn’t sold out to more ''new age'', ''trendy'' characters and Count Von Count was still creepily counting his bats (maybe he's still around?...please correct me if I'm wrong:-)).

My husband's first language is English, but he learned how to speak French fluently in France in his late 20s and early 30s. (I was, at the time, probably working on a 6th grade science project or something of the sort...yeah, that's right..there's an 18 year difference between me and my husband...but, that's a whole other story).

The first words spoken to my children, straight out of the womb, were in French.

Which leads me to one of my pet peeves (being a Type A, perfectionist, control freak, makes for far too many pet peeves).

When I'm somewhere with my kids, be it at the park or in a store, people will stop me and say, in a cutesy way, ''Ahhh, you're teaching your kids French!''

To me it's the equivalent of telling them, ''Ahhh, how cute, you're teaching your kids how to walk!''

I am not ''teaching'' my kids how to speak French. They just do. Just like your kids speak English.

Now, I do understand why someone would say that, being in region where French speaking kids are not necessarily very common, but it still drives me crazy.

Basically, and I know it sounds dramatic, but one of my biggest fears when starting a family in an area that was not predominately French, was that my kids would speak to me in English.

Joseph probably singing in french:-) Photo by gwen Aucoin www.gwenaucoin.com
I was not convinced that by me speaking to them in my native tongue would be sufficient to keep the language alive in our home.

I'm very relieved to share that it has been sufficient, at least until now, and thankfully the strong emphasis this region has on Cajun culture and its French heritage has helped me with the task of sharing its importance with my kids.

Speaking 2 or more languages can in fact be very advantageous to children.

In fact, today I read in the Daily Advertiser that speaking 2 languages may delay getting Alzheimer's. (Actually, I lie...my husband read it then told me about it...I was either wrestling our 2 year old to get him dressed or watching a morning rerun of E's The Soup)

I remember, when my first child was born, many around us were concerned that she would confuse the two languages.

I was therefore happy to read in this article that ''...both languages are essentially turned on all the time, but the brain learns to inhibit the one you don't need....bilingual babies learn very early to pay attention better.''

Now I can use these scientific terms instead of my standard unscientific answer: ''No, she just gets it.''

Anyhow, all that to say that my kids speak both French and English, they don't confuse the two and if you see a mom with her French speaking offspring please don't ask her if she is ''teaching'' them French. If you feel the urge to say something, a simple, ''It's so lovely to hear your children speak French.'' would be greatly appreciated:-)

Merci et bonne journée:-)

If you're interested in reading the article on children and multilingualism here's a link to it: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110218/ap_on_he_me/us_med_language_aging or for a French version go to: http://www.journalmetro.com/plus/article/778114--le-bilinguisme-reduirait-les-effets-de-l-alzheimer

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Just Dance!


This is what you might see on a Sunday morning in our house.





Emmylou prefers Katy Perry and Luke tends to veer more towards Train or something with loud drum and/or guitar solos....Joseph just follows:-)

No matter the music, there's a whole lot of booty shaking and what looks like innovative new break dancing moves going on.

Dancing is freeing. Once you just let your body do what is wants, you let go.

Surrender to the music.

Which brings me to my Saturday morning a couple weeks ago.

My friend Melissa just started a dance class and had invited a few of her friends to come participate... to get her feet wet so to speak.

So, me and two other friends, all dressed up in our workout attire, hopped on our bikes and headed downtown to Cité des Arts to bust a move.

Can I just say that after days of being cooped up in this cold weather, a nice bike ride in the sun followed by an extremely fun and liberating dance class was exactly what I needed.

Melissa Stevenson, a music teacher at Ascension Day School, sure knows how to put a smile on your face.

After many aerobic or whatever classes, where teachers take themselves a little too seriously, it's refreshing to be able to go somewhere, in your nasty, torn, old workout clothes and not feel like you're the only one in the room who didn't get the memo that legwarmers were back in style. Where you can just let loose and ENJOY the hour of exercise.

Melissa mixes up zumba, hip-hop, booty shakin and put a ring on it styles that she's mastered through cheerleading, various dance classes and years of dancing in her living room (like we all do). Pair that with upbeat, tempo music and you've got yourself an hour of revitalizing cardio.

So after the class, a few other ladies and I went to lunch where the conversation was nothing short of a (much cooler:-))scene from The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, but had nothing to do with Chucky Cheese and potty training schedules which made me wildly content.

Not a bad way to spend a Saturday morning!

If you're interested in coming to Melissa Stevenson's dance class, they are now held downtown at Cité des Arts on Saturday mornings from 11:00 to 12:00 (soon to be offered on Thursday nights at 6:30 p.m.). First class is free, then $8 per class after that. For more information you can contact Melissa at melstevenson1@gmail.com.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Fake It Till You Make It!


The other day I got a text from a friend of mine telling me that, in his advanced developmental psych class, he had discussed the child rearing strategy my husband and I use.

Not knowing exactly what he meant by ''rearing'', my immediate reaction was, ''F*&#!! Now child services will surely be knocking down my door!'' Thanks buddy.

When he finally explained that child ''rearing'' strategies was actually a fancy word for raising your kids, I relaxed...well, just a bit...that would probably still justify a visit from child services.

Anyhow, he proceeded to explain that he was actually paying me a compliment and that he had explained to his class how good we were at ''rearing'' our kids..(ha ha)....to which I replied:

''Would you mind explaining to me what my strategies are? . . .who knew ?. . .I have strategies?”

He never got around to explaining them to me, but it got me thinking about what parenting strategies I think I use.

This was my conclusion: Fake it till you make it!

That's my strategy.

Basically, I have no clue what the hell I'm doing, but I'm sure not going to let my kids know that...they have a sixth sense about that kind of stuff.

They start foaming at the mouth if they realize I don't have a clue how to handle an escalating situation (which usually involves meltdowns in the candy aisle at Walmart or something of the sort).
Not Walmart this time, Target. The situation was quickly averted with mention of Toys R Us!

All we can do as parents is try (or fake) our very best and hope they'll grow up to be reasonable.

Or, in the words of the wise Phil Dunphy of ABC's Modern Family, '' Your parents fake their way through it. You fake your way through it. And hopefully you don't raise a serial killer.''

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Doubt


I don't know if y'all remember, but a few weeks ago I posted about a sewing project that I was taking on. Here's the link to refresh y'all's memory: http://pleasemom-nicole.blogspot.com/2011/01/seam-ripper.html

Well, the dress was about to be completed so I asked my friend Anna Laura to come for a final fitting. I was praying to God that I wouldn't have any major adjustments to make since I literally could not look at that godforsaken dress without setting it on fire.

When you look at something for too long, it doesn't matter if it's a dress or the sun, you're going to eventually want to gouge your eyes out!

So it turns out I was going to have to redo the zipper and rework the sleeves in order for the dress to fit like it should.

I wanted to cry.

Actually, I did cry.

I was thinking, “Why did I do this to myself”. Maybe I am a masochist (seems to be a reoccurring theme in my life)? I was the one who offered to make this dress. I WANTED to do this!”

I literally contemplated setting my 4 year old, scissor obsessed, son loose in my sewing room with the hopes that he would attempt to transform the dress into a batman cape. Oops.

I didn't.


Miss Anna Laura rockin the cowboy boots!
So after my husband calmed me down and treated me to sushi (which, by the way, is a sure way to wipe my tears away) I was able to regroup a little.

The next day, I brought the dress to a seamstress that had given me a few sewing lessons a while ago with the intention of throwing her dress, hightailing it out of there saying “Fix it and send me the bill!”.

I knew she was going to take one look at that dress and then one look at me and laugh....like, “What the hell were you trying to do with this hack job”.

Instead, she looked at me, then at the dress and said, “This is a beautiful dress!”

Can I tell you, I almost broke down in tears of sheer happiness! The kind of happiness you get when your in-laws agree to take the kids overnight! I wanted to squeeze Miss Hilda out of gratitude!

That one positive comment took me by surprise but boy; it sure did curtail yet another emotional breakdown.
Hot red shoes! Photos courtesy of Gwen Aucoin www.gwenaucoin.com

She gave me pointers as to how to alter the dress.

But the best part is she sent me home. She said, “I ain't touching that dress, it's yours to finish!”

A true teacher!

So that's what I did and here it is!

It truly doesn't matter if this dress ever sees the light of day (or the dark of night). The important thing is that I've learned that I should try not to doubt myself so much. I say “try” because I know I will doubt again, but at least I can remember this dress and think, “I did it!”

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

From LA to LA


So, as our trip comes to end and I take in and process all we saw and did, I can't help but think one thing: I miss my kids.

For real.

Some might add me to their worse moms in the world list, but I NEVER miss my kids.

Most of the time, when I'm away from the kids, I catch myself thinking, ''Wait, I feel like I'm forgetting something....oh, maybe I should call in and check on the kids''....after roughly three days of pure reckless debauchery.

Out of sight, out of mind.

That's why I am flabbergasted that I actually miss them.

What the hell is going on?

Well, I think what's going on is that the city of Los Angeles, in only 4 days, has managed to wear my ass out.

Traffic, parties and a 7 hour (touch base, then back) bizarre but very entertaining trip to Santa Barbara (with Krewe de Stafford) drove me into a somewhat dark place where shitty diapers and dramatic tantrums seemed somehow calming to me.

And then there were the Grammy's...or the Shmammy's, as Kathy Griffin called the UN-televised afternoon Grammy celebration where awards are given to all the artists who are not part of the handful of blinged-out, decked-out, sometimes take themselves too seriously, celebrities.

Now, don't get me wrong, I really did have a great time and felt really privileged to be able to witness such a production....BUT, that's all it was to me...a production. I wasn’t moved. . .and I tried really really hard.

I mean come on John Mayer, really? If you're going to cover one of Dolly Parton's best songs ever, learn the damn words instead of staring sheepishly at the tele-prompter . Even I could have belted Jolene with more heart than that.

And the beloved Lady Gaga...who obviously has been listening to a lot of Madonna lately. Come on.

It was just very bizarre for me to watch this glorified, SMALL, elite group of ''musicians'' and ''artists'' (I'm putting quotations since there would be room for debate with some of these people) being celebrated, up against each-other in every category....when 90% of the genius, very deserving nominees, the foundation of the music industry, will never have their faces plastered on a TV screen.

My fab husband and I at the Grammy after party.
More glitz than substance.

That being said, I too suffer from major Bieber fever and I shrieked with excitement when some of the cast of Glee walked by.

I'm lame, a total geek....and a total hypocrite. (At least I'm aware of it)
I do want to add that, even though I wasn’t necessarily moved, I thoroughly enjoyed Bob Dylan's raspy, pleasantly odd performance of Maggie's Farm, Usher's exquisite dancing and Mick Jagger's energetic, swaggering tribute to the late, great Solomon Burke.

Also, a big shout out to Bruno Mars!

So anyway, my first encounter with the city of LA was both energizing and exhausting...does that make sense?

This hopeful city, jam packed with aspiring actors, writers, musicians, artists, who are all in the ''meantime'', trying to make it up the ladder, to the front seats, is in a sense inspiring.

Yet, I'm perfectly content to head back to my ''simple'', unglamorous life, filling sippy cups and changing wet beds where I, myself, am the publicist, manager and stylist. 

The always lovely Kara Guarisco and I at the Shmammy's:-)

Mister DL Menard. Cha!!

P.S Y'ALL....That black dress I'm wearing was designed and sewn by yours truly:-)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Bottega Louie

I am in love!

I'm in love with Bottega Louie.

After having a delectable sushi diner in downtown LA, I was jonzing for something sweet...like I always do after any kind of activity.

Walking down 7th street, we came upon a buzzing hot spot.

Here, is where I met Bottega Louie....at 11:00 p.m.

We walked into a simple, crisp, wide open space with a full bar and exquisite patisserie.

I mean, what more could I want.....alcohol and sweets.

My paradise.

From what I could see, their specialty were these tiny, melt in your mouth, colorful macaroons that are stacked high in the display cases.

''I'll take a big box of macaroons, oh and how about a passion fruit tart and a coffee infused creme brulée tart for my husband.''

The crème brulée tart did not make it past the door and the passion fruit was dramatically devoured on the cab ride to the hotel. Why we didn't just eat there, like normal people, at a table, is still a mystery....I think the sheer joy of all these treats made me a little nutty...or maybe the responsible party was misses Champagne and mister Sake.

Anyway, the first thing I noticed this morning, was the beautifuly pacakaged macaroons sitting prettitly on the hotel desk.

Can you guess what I'm having for breakfast?:-)

P.S When I die, I want to be buried in Bottega Louie...under the cabinet with the stacked macaroons.



Mile High


Oof, I'm on the plane.

The last time I was on a plane, by this time, I would have been hopelessly fighting back tears, borderline hyperventilating wondering if it would be weird if I ripped the oxygen mask from its compartment.

Help yourself first, and then assist others right?

I was in this predicament since I was traveling (without my husband) with my 3 little kids. A 1 year old who had, of course, started projectile vomiting the night before, a 3 year old aspiring gymnast and a 4 year old who could not make up her mind between The Princess and The Frog or The Little Mermaid DVDs.

Masochistic you ask?

Apparently yes.

My husband had a rare bout with Lyme disease (which he attributes to the oil spill...but, that's a whole other story) and I was desperately craving the smell of Baie Saint-Marie's salty water and the taste of my mom's potatoes.

It was one of those rare instances where I'm completely confident in my ability to take on a task as daunting as this one.

Oh, how soon that confidence sadly started dwindling away.

Two grueling 3-4 hour plane rides with a SHORT layover in Detroit (where, by the way, there are no motorized courtesy carts, so yeah, I was that insane mom running through the airport with her 3 kids stuffed in a wheel chair...I was NOT missing that flight!), my confidence was crushed, hammered, partie.

The first flight was harder than childbirth.

I literally wanted to take the heavily made-up flight attendant hostage and make HER try and make a 1 year old sit quietly in HER lap while I walk by her and annoyingly ask, ''Biscoff or pretzels ma’am?''

How about a shot gun and/or Valium please!

She was a bitch!

Thank God for the lovely, gay (I have to specify…you'll get it in a second) male flight attendant on the second flight.

“Ma’am, would you like some crayons and paper for your kids?”

I was so helplessly grateful; I was a purple crayon shy of offering this wonderful man my body for surrogacy.

Anyway, the Tim Horton’s Timbits and of course seeing my family, made this exhausting trip worthwhile.

But let me tell you, sitting here, writing quietly, with the absence of wet wipes and crumbled Pringles everywhere, makes this plane ride as peaceful and enjoyable as a day at the spa:-)

No biscoff for me...uhmm gourmet cheese and grapes please! Bliss:-)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Ain't It Funny Things Change - Horace Trahan


Recently my husband and I got the incredible opportunity to go to the Grammy's in Los Angeles.

When my husband first mentioned the possibility of attending this event.....WITHOUT the kids....my first reaction was :

“But wait.... I don't have a will!! Who's going to take care of the kids if the plane crashes!!”

Really? Did I just say that?

Six years ago, if you would have told me that I was going to the land of the super rich famous people, I would have immediately packed my suitcase with my trendiest, most “chic” attire with the hopes of maybe bumping into one of the Kardashian sisters.

But nope. Not now.

Instead, I'm looking up LegaZoom.com to figure out how much that Shawn Hannity discount will actually give me when I buy my legal will. (The ONE good thing I've learned from listening to his never ending rants on the radio).

I remember my mom having this discussion with my dad before they took a trip without us, and I remember thinking how morbid and unnecessary the topic was.

But now, I get it.

I'm actually that mom who seriously considers taking a different flight then her husband just in case the plane crashes.

Instead of getting a spray tan, I'm deciding who is going to be the executor of my will.

I guess that's what happens when you have kids. Priorities change and something as “simple” as a quick trip to California can have many more consequences. (I say “simple” because there is nothing simple about the preparations for a trip when 3 kids and a dog are involved...even when they're not coming!)

Or maybe I'm just totally nuts!

So anyway, I'm sure everything will be fine........but just in case, our wills are now drawn out, signed and notarized.

Keep your fingers crossed:-)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Imagination Movers


After years of big purple unidentifiable creatures, red obnoxious puppets and bizarre Australian ensembles, parents everywhere rejoice!

The Imagination Movers have arrived.

Well, in fact they've been arriving for the past 8 years.

Since their beginning in New Orleans, Louisiana, this group of 4 have become the highlight of many Saturday morning living rooms. With the merging of inspirational messages and admirable musical talent, the Imagination Movers have children (and parents) literally and figuratively reaching high.

Yesterday evening, my three kids and I had the opportunity to see them live on their very first stop of their season three tour.

We braved the ''cold'' winter weather and made our way to the Heymann Center where, for the first time ever, if you did NOT have a crying, screaming kid, you looked like the odd ball. Thank God, because Emmlyou spent most of the show buried in my chest, terrified (I still don't get it, she is totally excited to go then once she gets there you'd swear I'm forcing her to watch a theatre performance of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre).

Anyway.

I sat there, waiting, giddy like I was 13 again waiting to see New Kids On the Block (yes, I'm that young...NKOTB forever).

I was not disappointed.

With a brief opening act from Choo Choo Soul, the Imagination Movers rocked out right out of the gates with a brand new (old school Weezer sounding) song called ''On Your Mark Get Set Go!''

With the addition of DJ Jazzy Jason and Farmer Kyle on the drums, the Movers glided, jumped and stomped energetically across the stage, jump splits and all. Appearances form Nina, Warehouse Mouse and Eddy the Monster sent the tiny people into a frenzy.

Musically, these guys are phenomenal. With their very catchy, positive songwriting and their authentic funk infused rock-n-roll, Beastie Boyish sound, the Imagination Movers bring the world of children's musical group to whole new level. Also, the addition of very recognizable guitar licks here and there (Aerosmith's Walk This Way) and their covers of pop hits (the Black Eyed Peas's Tonight's Gonna Be A Good Night) helps the people in the audience born before 1998 get into it.


They are the only group who can make a song about cheese, really cool and hip!


 I could go on forever.

Cha Emmylou. They're not coming to get you...and if they are plugging your ears ain't gonna help! (For the record she was doing the chicken dance like 2 minutes after that picture)

I swear Joseph brought these binoculars all on his own like he knew exactly that he might need them (it was a ''My child is a genius'' moment)

Luke, always game!
The point is, the show was awesome. My fun-o-meter was lighting 4 suns. After Luke got over the fact that Rich wasn’t playing his drums and Emmylou realized that there was nothing gory or unnatural happening on stage, they eventually danced the night away (Joseph just follows their lead).

“Reach high, think big, work hard, have fun.” That is the Imagination Mover's motto and that's exactly what they’re doing.

I'm happy that my children and I can be part of it!

This show was part of PASA's 2010-2011 series. For more information or to buy tickets for future tickets go to http://www.pasa-online.org/.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Snow Day Snob - Part 2

This very creative depiction of opposing snow days was produced by Gisele Theriault, a fellow Canadian residing here in Lafayette, LA. I thought it was a perfect complement to my prior post http://pleasemom-nicole.blogspot.com/2011/02/snow-day-snob.html. Thank you Gisele!

Snow Day Snob


Who would have thought that Lafayette, Louisiana and Nova Scotia, Canada would have this one thing in common.

A snow day!

Yes, that's right....snow day!

Whenever the mere speck of a chance of any kind of frozen precipitation threatens Lafayette, the city goes in complete lockdown mode.

This morning Walmart was buzzing like it does right before a category 5 hurricane. Carts were filled with water, potted meats, beer, chips and the occasional king cake.....the necessities!

The “winter storm” Live Doppler Storm Tracker breaks are coming as often as the JP Thibodeaux commercials.

The Ice Gators hockey game is cancelled because of the ice (on the road).

Barely below freezing temperature and my husband turns into a 90 year old man wrapped in a blanket asking me to turn up the volume on the TV.....all the while bitching about the Wheel of Fortune contestant’s lack of puzzle solving skills. (love you boo).

Now, I am fully aware that I am being a total snow snob!

My hard core mom shoveling snow after a classic Canadian snow storm
I'm like laughing, thinking “What? Snow Day? Where I grew up there had to be blizzard white-outs, dagger like icicles lining the roofs and major power outages for the Superintendent to even consider canceling school!”. And If I were 30 years older, I could replace that with, “When I was a child I had to walk 2 miles, in 5 feet of snow, in blizzards to get to the school house!”

We were hard core (I'm not exaggerating in the least bit:-))!

But even with all my “snobiness”, I get it.

I understand that here, in Louisiana, snow tires, snow plows and salt trucks do not exist and that snow and ice are rarities and therefore mystical, magical and possibly dangerous.

Pardon my negativeness, but the thought of snow does not tickle me in any way shape or form.

I moved here in part to get away from it.

Maybe I'm just pissed because my babysitter took off today.

In any case, Lafayette, I find your valid overreaction to ice very endearing and cute:-)

But, give me 100 smoldering degree weather and sweaty arm pits any day over a cold, wet, cabin fevered snow day!!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Shake It Up Chicago


“Come on Cece! We have to go shake it up Chicago at the ball!”

This is my four year old son (who had been somehow convinced into putting on a pretty purple sparkly dress) talking to my five year old daughter.

When I asked him who “Cece” was and what “Shake it up Chicago” meant, he looked at me and annoyingly sighed (the kind of sigh I can predict will occur when, in 10 years, I ask who this “Kourtney” girl is who keeps texting him....or whatever new way of non-communication technology bestows upon us).

“Mom, this is kid talk and can you please just let us play without asking us questions!”

That was his answer to my obviously ridiculous question.

My husband looked at me like “He told you!”
Photo by Gwen Aucoin www.gwenaucoin.com

He did.

I understood the message loud and clear....no translation needed there.


The truth is I love to listen to them play when they think I'm not listening. Their little huge imaginations really shine through when they think no one over 2 feet is paying attention.

My daughter is usually the boss and consequently the boys just follow. As it should be:-)

Photo by Gwen Aucoin www.gwenaucoin.com




So anyway, Cece, turns out, is this pre-teen pop heartthrob on the Disney channel (I think) and I have yet to figure out what it is, but it cracks me up every time I hear them yell “Shake it Up Chicago!”

Hummm....maybe I should be more concerned that I don't know what the hell my kids are talking about?

Well, on second thought, I haven't heard any profanities or sexual content so I think I'm good:-)


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Perfect


Being a perfectionist is hard work.

Mix that in with a little obsessive compulsiveness and control issues, makes for a pretty unattractive 5 o'clock meltdown!

I think that's why being a mom, for me, often feels like I'm climbing mount Kilimanjaro....no...sprinting up mount Kilimanjaro!

I think this need to achieve “perfection” leads to a lot of misconstrued expectations of myself.

I know that, rationally speaking, being the “perfect” parent or raising the “perfect” child is impossible, yet the guilt of not living up to the unachievable standards I set for myself eats away at my confidence one tantrum at a time.

My sister once gave me pamphlet called “Facing Your Abuser”. She meant facing “me” the abuser to myself. It made me laugh at first, but when I started reading the pamphlet it really hit me smack in the face.

I think a lot of us, parents or not, hold the bar way to high for ourselves. We beat ourselves up for not achieving certain things that in reality are unattainable or unrealistic. We don't expect that of others (well, at least I don't) so why do we expect it of ourselves?

My kids and I in a not so perfect, perfect moment. Photo by Gwen Aucoin www.gwenaucoin.com

























Type A personality. Also known as over-achiever or anal.

I'm that woman who's scrubbing the toilets before the cleaning lady comes.

After my husband is finished “cleaning” the kitchen, I'm right there behind him for the next 30 minutes making sure every little thing is wiped and put away just the way I like it.

It's stronger then me.

Thankfully, one particular book I read after having my second child really helped to put things in perspective for me. The book is called I Was Really a Good Mom Before I Had Kids by Trisha Ashworth and Amy Nobile. The book is about accepting the mother that you are and realizing that “perfect” is like the Loch Ness Monster...it doesn't exist people.

I'm learning though. One step at a time I'm figuring out how to honor where I am now and not where I think I “should” be.

It's a day to day battle.

Wine helps:-)

If you're interested in buying the book you can click on the link below to find it.