If you were a Bravolebrity, who would you be?

I cannot get enough Bravo TV.  Are you with me?  I dream of  kickin’ it in the clubhouse with Andy Cohen.  I even love the promo ads with the Brittany Spears song.  Hopping into bed after a long day of work, or nice and sunburned and tired after a day on the boat or beach, cranking up the A/C, flipping on channel 185 and hearing “Oh oh I wanna go go go…”  ahhh, heaven.  Naturally my faves are the Real Housewives of New York and New Jersey.   I mean really, did you have to ask? 

My husband, however, just doesn’t seem to “get”  reality television.  He constantly asks who the people are, like they have to be somebody. If they aren’t actors playing the part of some sort of homicide detective, and they aren’t playing a sport, than he doesn’t understand why they are on tv.  “Who’s this broad?”  is a common question.   “That’s Teresa.”… “who’s she?”… “umm, clearly she’s the crazy person I’m watching on tv, honey, shhh.” ….”who’s that other broad?”… and so on.  It’s exhausting. 

Now by this point we all know someone who has auditioned for some old school reality show like Survivor or Road Rules, or who’s cousin was on The Bachelor, etc.  It’s the six degrees of Richard Hatch phenomenon. But lately it seems like the niche reality show is where it’s at:  Storage Wars, Toddlers and Tiaras, Ice Road Truckers- all these super specific groups.  I’m pretty sure these days everyone believes their interest group belongs on a reality show.  From mom bloggers to polo players, everyone I know finds their own lives to be the most fascinating.  (trust me the random goofs on Most Eligible Dallas are the MOST fascinating…not you. That is why they are Bravolebrities and you aren’t.)

So what do you think? a hockey mom reality show?  I don’t even know if the viewing public can hang with that kind of crazy.  But maybe.  Maybe if they followed a group of moms for one special season….and if the moms were in Canada…and the coach was really cute.  We could make it work.  What about the Real Housewives of your regular old hometown, driving your minivan, hitting Target and Starbucks- think it could fly?  I know you’ve thought about it… 

Personally I have my eye on Andy Cohen’s job in the clubhouse, chatting with all the crazies.  Here I am practicing last weekend with RHONY Ramona and her hubby showing off their new wine “Ramona.”  Ryan didn’t understand why she was selling wine on the weekend if she was so special and famous.  He just doesn’t understand the Bravolebrity. 

 

 

 

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Hockey Mom Summer

As we get back to school, and of course back to hockey, it’s time for me to get my butt back to blogging.  Besides, as it turns out I have a fan…some hockey guy actually gave me a shout out today, check it out!  Good Reading for Hockey Moms « HSS: THE BLOG

So let’s just cover the whole summer in one blog post and pretend I’ve been blogging all along, shall we?  I think I owe that much to my fan.

  • Well first things first the Medi Weight Loss thing worked out and I did manage to get myself into a bikini a few times this summer.  It wasn’t all that pretty, but I did it.  In other news I’ve bought several adorable new cover-ups, and yes, I’m back to carbs and wine….in a bad way. 
  • My husband and family threw me a surprise 35th birthday party at my parents’ house and I was truly, madly, deeply surprised.  I was so surprised it was awkward….like I just stood there silently for a while and questioned everything I thought I knew about life for 35 years.  Anyone who behaves differently probably isn’t really surprised.
     

Checking out the fireworks with Luke at my Luau Party

  • On a sad note, I lost my beloved aunt Maggie to Pulmonary Fibrosis…the same disease that’s taken her two sisters, all in their 50’s.  It’s been heartbreaking, and made spending time with my family first on my priority list this summer.
  • Happily, Lexi and Luke have been riding horses, something that Maggie loved and shared with me.  I bought them the cutest little boots and helmets; and have looked into what it means to be a riding mom. My guess is it involves lurking around the barn looking to take out a horse Tonya Harding style, but I’m not positive yet.
  • Oh and I hung like a real mommy-blogger and talked dinner time live on the Ragu Facebook page.  No, really I did that.  Check it out:  Ragu Live Chat 
  • I started the cutest lacrosse clinics ever.  I called it Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, brought ice cream, dance music and some college girls to coach the kids.  I had such a blast, and I think the girls did too.  Check out my flyer, it took me forever…
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Hockey Mom Fashion Police and Turning 35

I don’t have to tell you the appropriate attire for a youth hockey game, we’ve been over that ad nauseum (jeans, cute boots, cute coat, spirit scarf)…but as I have some spare time tonight I thought I’d talk fashion in general.  I know what you are thinking, “she has spare time?  wow, how does she balance at all…so impressive, a real life super mom.”  I get that all the time.  So truth be told, no, I do not have spare time.  I have work and laundry and all sorts of things I should be doing.  But I made it to the wine store today, and my children, thru the wonder of it all, and my in law’s “reward points” have come into a camcorder.  They have also figured out how to upload videos to You Tube, which means they can finally record their soon to be hit “Written in my butt, a million miles of poop…” and become You Tube sensations.  Which is, of course, the new black. 

Which brings me back to fashion.  Admittedly, I have very few marketable skills, but I am really great at a party.  This includes, but is not limited to, the general knowledge of appropriate attire for most occasions.  It’s a gift.  (I’ve told you about my funeral dress.) 

On the NBC Nightly News tonight they discussed the subject of super casual work attire, such as flip-flops, which I wouldn’t be against, if it weren’t for my strong compulsion to wear heels despite being 5’7.  My office has jeans and flip-flop Fridays, and last summer I didn’t participate.  I was too fat to wear flip-flops with jeans- my booty needed all the lift it could get.  Besides, I’m not 21 anymore – yikes, did I just say that?

I heard something on the radio a while back which made me realize I might have to consider something other than the occasion and my ever-changing weight while getting dressed….my age.  The deejays were discussing a recent study regarding what age is too old for things such as bikinis, mini skirts, etc.  A few weeks back I pulled out an old pair of cut off jean shorts… and thought: crap, were these on that list?  I immediately texted my girlfriends: Am I too old for cut off jean shorts?  And ran them past my husband and children.  I determined they were ok for our boat, over a bathing suit, but not quite ready for prime time suburban life. 

After finding the list online tonight , I was a little alarmed that I only have six days left to wear a mini skirt…I’ll be 35 on Sunday.  According to this British list I am also too old for boob tops, lol, I believe that is tube tops in English umm, American.  Which stinks because I have a couple of really cute ones- they are blousy, think that makes a difference?  I do know someone who rocked a tube top at 49.5 despite needless criticism from her sisters, clearly she was 33 at heart.  The long hair ruling reminded me of my friend Carrie, who coined the phrase “high school hair”, which is long, one length hair anytime after, well, high school I guess?  She is tough on fashion crime. 

Here is the list:  what do you think?  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1385908/Women-old-wear-bikinis-beach-47-survey-shows.html

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The Story of Us

Last night I told my husband I would go straight from work to meet Grandma and the kids at, (where else?) an ice rink.   He had signed the two younger kiddos up for some clinic and worked out a deal and I was supposed to pay a certain amount, etc etc… 

As I walked in I thought how funny it was that he gave me so many instructions, as if I had never done this before.  I must really be pulling this aloof working mom thing off well.  I think maybe for good measure I’ll have trouble remembering if they are Mites or Squirts or what have you… I mean HELLO…I am a hockey mom.  I have a freaking blog here, buddy. 

After I settled up with the check in lady I was off to find my family.  Early reports indicated my Lukey was too tired to skate.  This was said with accompanying eyerolls and sighs by Grandma, Nick and Lexi.  They were clearly disgusted.  Of course, I was too.  I had just written the check, I was wearing a dress and heels from work, and I was a little tired myself, we all were.  It was Tuesday July 5.  Everyone in the America had one big firework hangover, if not a regular hangover.  My little one isn’t even six yet and had been up past his bedtime for four straight days,  sleeping on our boat and then my parents’ bedroom floor.  He was salty and sunburned.  He needed to get his ass out on the ice! 

So here is where I have to control my inner Toddlers and Tiaras and pretend like I don’t care if he skates.  This act is really for myself because I like to tell myself I don’t care about such things.  Besides, his brother was already working every Jedi Mind Trick he could come up with to mess with the poor kid.  And this, my friends is when I remember the story of us…back when we weren’t cookoo for hockey. 

I once had a four year old boy who hated hockey.  My husband was a little disappointed. The story could have ended there.  We could have a ski house now and February vacations.  But, instead, I got a bee in my bonnet about it and I brought that boy to Thursday morning skating lessons.  With his little sister and a kind figure skating instructor.  I nursed my baby in the chilly rink.  The boy turned five and I brought him to hockey one day while his dad was out of town.  I got him into the program even though it was February, there was only about a month left, and he was completely terrified.  When he was seven and not officially ready for Mite hockey, and his dad was out of town, I brought him again…I talked our way in the door when we weren’t on the list.  I schepped those babies to hockey when I could have just left well enough alone.  The story of us seems less about Daddy now. 

So back to July 5…and the baby I once nursed in the rink.  He was now explaining that he couldn’t put on his hockey gear because he wasn’t wearing socks or underwear.  I came up with both without blinking an eye (please- I had access to a mini van and two hockey bags).  Coincidentally, the clinic had transitioned to a scrimmage…which every hockey parent knows is NOT why you pay for a clinic…and surprise, surprise,  Mr. Commando was now ready to skate.   Naturally I dressed him in five minutes, maybe less.  Nick was impressed.  I asked him: “Do you think I haven’t dressed a kid for hockey before?”…”Ahh, I don’t know, I guess.”  Oh how soon you forget our story,  my darling.

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The Crazy Elite or Select Your Crazy

The past few months have presented themselves with a few opportunities for the kids outside of <gasp>…hockey.  Nick seems to be some kind of ovreacheiver and is pretty good at lacrosse and  sailing. Lately he keeps being invited to participate in programs that my husband and I have just found to be completely flippin’ off their rocker crazy.  Crazy money, crazy time, crazy crazy.  The type of crazy which we have already reserved for hockey.  I mean, let’s face it if someone asked me to drive to Montreal twice per week for hockey because he was going to be on the AAAA Super Duper Elite team, I would probably consider it.  I might ask if he would be in the Elite Select program or just Elite, then I’d pack up the Odyssey and go regardless of the answer. 

But craziness in any other activities besides hockey?  I get completely offended and judgmental.  Lacrosse?  All summer?  With, like a helmet on?  It’s too hot!  Sailing? Every single dayof the entire summer?  When there isn’t even a decent bumper pool table at the yacht club?  I don’t see how I can pay commit to that.  My job, wanting me to pay attention to it like, five days per week??  What?  Anyhow, our crazy belongs to hockey…we’ve selected our crazy.  We are Crazy Select.

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Let Sleeping Blogs Lie

This was advice I saw recently on Twitter as part of a mom blog chat… well to be clear, basically half of Twitter is one big mom blog chat, but I believe this was a Twitter “event” with the purpose of giving mom blogging advice. 

It made me a little sad, because I knew my blog was sleeping.  The advice giver, or tweeter as it were, meant to tell bloggers that if a blog no longer serves a purpose, or has a point, just up and start a new one, or something like that. 

I haven’t been able to give my little blog the attention it deserves lately, move it to my own hosting, pursue sponsorships and ads, or truly embrace the mom blogosphere.  I’ve been  truly in awe of the mom bloggers.  These girls are plugging everything from diaper rash cream to Hollywood movies to Tide.  They write mom blogs about mom blogging, they’ve created an entire industry during naptimes.  They are at events and conferences every weekend and they tweet and they tweet and they tweet. 

I don’t know how a hockey mom with a full time job and no cleaning lady could possibly keep up with the pro mom bloggers.  But I won’t be letting my sleeping blog lie.  I’m waking it up now and then for a few sarcastic musings of a busy mom.  And if anyone wants to send us free hockey gear, I’ll tweet about it. 

 

 

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NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Quarterfinals at Gillette Stadium

This morning I packed up the hot hockey mom Odyssey and hit up the double header of lacrosse at Foxborough.  The kids and I tailgated with a bunch of families from our local league and did the whole “lacrosse community” thing.  We “laxed”.  It was a good time and no one even put a lacrosse ball thru a windshield, that I saw, anyway.  Unfortunately it was freezing and while I pictured myself tailgating in bermuda shorts and a cute straw hat, jeans and fleece it was…I guess I was picturing myself tailgating in Virginia, not Massachusetts.

I rolled with my friend Amy…as both of our hubbies were otherwise engaged with golf and fishing tournaments.  By the way, do we deserve the hot hockey mom shout out or what?  Schlepping our kids up there with food, drink, furniture, etc, when most moms stayed home?  Hockey moms have more fun.  Especially Amy who was at the stadium early for her littlest’s U9 Jamboree which apparently started at sunrise or thereabouts.  I am still gloating that I left my house 30 min after our league’s scheduled caravan meetup time, stopped at Dunkin, and still caught up to the armada of laxmobiles on I-95 right before the exit and pulled right in.  Is there a sport for packing kids and a bunch of crap in a minivan and making record time?  Because I could seriously kick some ass. 

Unfortunately our Syracuse Orangemen lost in an overtime heartbreaker to Maryland.   We only stayed for the first half of the Notre Dame vs. Duke game My 5 year old was fading fast and even though the game was the rematch of last year’s finals, there wasn’t nearly as much energy in the crowd for the second game.  My daughter rated “hanging out in the parking lot” as the best part of the day, not surprising, the girl loves a party. (I have no idea where she gets it.)  I was expecting more lacrosse vendors around the stadium with clothes and gear and stuff…you know, more shopping.  I wasn’t expecting people to bring sticks into the stadium, seems dangerous to me, but hey you never know when the team will need a sub… that kid behind my boys is ready with his pinnie…put me in coach!

While packing up I got to see some of the Maryland players return victoriously to their family tailgate area, welcomed by loud cheers.  Of course I got choked up.  On my way out I wanted to try to get a picture of the Maryland tent, they had huge Maryland flags and Nick has a Maryland school project due next week.  I had been nagging Amy to take the photo all morning with her fancy camera but I am pretty sure she ignored me.  I drove by slow and took this super lame picture.  A Maryland team dad was next to my car as I took it and I can’t even remember how we started talking, but he stood at my car window and told me how they had a tough season with a lot of challenges this season… one of the players had lost his mom. He said the team had really come together in the face of adversity.  The parents were so proud.  Suffice it to say I’ll be cheering for Maryland in the Final Four next weekend.  Go Terps!

 

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Battle Hymn of the Hockey Mom~ Part 2

“What Chinese parents understand is that nothing is fun until you’re good at it.”

– Amy Chua, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother

When I read this I thought of my kids.  My son hates to lose at hockey (I can’t remember if he’s ok with it in lacrosse because I think his team always wins).  At tournaments, he is usually the only kid not begging for a t-shirt all weekend, because he doesn’t see the point in buying a t-shirt unless you win the tournament.   Of course I always tell him “good game”  or try to say something that I think sounds intelligent about hockey, much to his horror.  He does not think its a good game if he lost.  And heaven help the person who tells him it’s if he had fun that counts. 

I expect this from my older son but I was a bit surprised to hear my daughter tearfully tell me “It’s not fun to lose” after our lacrosse game on Saturday.  First of all, they don’t keep score in our games.  She knew the score and told me: 6-2.  I truly had no idea and I’m the coach.  Honestly I had ruled out that we could win a game this year, and was really happy with how my girls played.  I, the competitive hockey mom, have been wishing for smaller, less formal games for my girls.  The fields are too big, the whistles too frequent and I just don’t see how it’s fun.  I actually believe that lacrosse is supposed to be fun- for real, I’m not just saying that.  But now my competitive little tiger cub wants a win, and I have no idea how to get her one.  So now I’m under pressure and not having fun, what the heck? 

I think this is the answer to the hockey mom vs. Tiger Mom dilemma.  Hockey moms are merely supporting our cubs.  They are the crazy ones.  We’re just the ones who have to drive them home.  We are willing to give up sleep, sanity and shopping not for a big win, or the big succesful hockey career or even the big scholarship that could really come in handy…but for our kids.  And that is as pure as freshly zambonied ice (minus some of the toxic chemicals). 

 

 

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Battle Hymn of the Hockey Mom~ Part 1

Recently I’ve been following a blog called Playing to Win which discusses competitive activities for children, from chess prodigies to pageant princesses.  It made me start to wonder about the competitive nature of hockey moms- is it truly as pure as freshly zambonied ice, as I’ve always believed? How is it different from the manipulations of the Muffia or the ickiness of the stage mom? 

There was a lot of debate several months back about Amy Chua’s Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, a memoir about her strict Chinese parenting style.  Chua speaks of the importance of rigorous academics and hours and hours of music lessons, and the rather harsh tactics she used to enforce this regiment with her daughters.  I didn’t read her entire book, I have read excerpts and countless blogs and reviews.  I think this year’s Charlie Sheen tiger blood thing was just a coincidence, but perhaps he had a Tiger Mother too.  Someone ought to look into that, because that would blow this lady’s parenting theories right out of the water.

I know I don’t have tiger blood because I can barely hack it through 20 minutes of my daughter practicing the obligatory 3rd grade recorder in the house and I am ever grateful that my children have no interest in real musical insturments.  But I am just competitive enough to wonder why the Tiger Moms need their kids to be so good at violin and piano…does it help with math or something?  Help them get into college?  Keep them skinny? What do they know that I don’t?  (Besides all the math and music stuff, obviously)  And what’s up with these Kumon learning centers…do they conflict with hockey season?  

Which brings me to my confession: I am a little ambitious about my kids’ futures, hockey and otherwise.  I think about college already.  Even though I love our public elementary school, I worry kids at private schools are already getting an edge.  Yesterday I looked into a competitive lacrosse team for my son.  My daughter is going to take some riding lessons and I already picture her winning blue ribbons in a suede blazer.  What the heck is wrong with me?  Am I living vicariously?  Just trying to raise succesful kids in a depressed economy?  Or on the road to being a prep school Dina Lohan?

I won’t dare call myself a Tiger Mother because Amy Chua has already made it clear:

“Some might think that the American sports parent is an analog to the Chinese mother. This is so wrong. Unlike your typical Western overscheduling soccer mom, the Chinese mother believes that (1) schoolwork always comes first; (2) an A-minus is a bad grade; (3) your children must be two years ahead of their classmates in math; (4) you must never compliment your children in public; (5) if your child ever disagrees with a teacher or coach, you must always take the side of the teacher or coach; (6) the only activities your children should be permitted to do are those in which they can eventually win a medal; and (7) that medal must be gold”

Ahh, #4 is the deal breaker~ hockey moms ALWAYS compliment their children, and everyone else’s for that matter, in public. In fact we scream compliments at the top of our lungs….more like hyenas than tigers.  The rest, however is up for debate…

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Hockey Mom Social

 A friend of mine asked me to explain why hockey people hang out in such a tight crowd.  The simple answer is that there are three things hockey parents love to do: eat, drink and talk about hockey, and it’s easier to do them together. 

During the “hockey season”, a term I use loosely for obvious reasons, we all tend to travel in a pack from rink to rink.   Socializing is impromptu in the form of multi-family pizza outings after a game and street hockey playdates that just sort of happen before you realize there are extra kids in your van.  No need to plan pickup- whoever has the kids just brings them back to the rink later that day, as most every family will have to be back for some ice time eventually.  The only thing planned ahead is the occasional house party, and that is only because some busy hockey mom will have to clean. 

Obviously I have plenty of friends outside my hockey parent circle.  But the truth is I am not that likely to make plans on those winter weekends, because the winter weekends tend to belong to hockey….not just the ice times, but the fun surrounding it too.  My friend’s husband is a busy hockey agent and she has a sign in her house that says:

“We interrupt this family to bring you the hockey season”

It’s hysterical and very fitting for her young family.  But it wouldn’t belong in my house.  Because the hockey season brings us our family, and we don’t consider it an interruption at all.

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