Friday, February 24, 2012

Introducing my kids to "Figure It Out"

Recently, my kids have started to hear from their friends that I was on TV.  Apparently lots of elementary schoolers and their parents watch the Food Network.  Kids would come up to my daughter and say, "We saw your mommy cooking?"  Skye didn't know what to make of it except to say, "Can I go on TV next time you are on?"  

Hosting Figure It Out
I figured it might be time to show her my most prized work, my time hosting "Figure It Out."  Problem was, I didn't have any episodes.  Coincidentally, I was in NY a few days later and met with some of my pals at Nickelodeon so I asked the producer of the show for a few copies. They were delivered to my doorstep a few weeks later, and I am not going to lie, I was pretty stoked! I couldn't wait to show my kids the greatest slime show EVER. (sorry Double Dare) 

So I sat them down in front of the TV with a huge smile and just waited, watching their  as Jay said... "SUMMER SAN-DERS!!!" Nothing.  I watched them as the kids got slimed. A few giggles. After 15 minutes, Skye turned to me and very gently said, "Mommy, can we please watch Sponge Bob?" My husband started rolling and I was doubled over.  The greatest lesson I learned when hosting a kids show…you never know what kids are going to say and you better be ready for anything.  

The same holds true for parenting!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Bumpers bring us together

Think of a sport that everyone in the family can not only enjoy, but fully participate in.  Sure, golf is great…and I am hoping I will get better with age, but my 4-year-old can't play on the course yet, so that is not it. Swimming might work, but it's pretty tough to compete against the little ones.  My suggestion: Try bowling! 

Bowling is such a fun game and provides great friendly competition that puts a smile on everyone's face. The whole family can play the same game, at the same time…from 4 to 64!  And really, there really isn't anything more hilarious or precious than watching your 64-year-old mother get as competitive as your 4-year-old! 

Bumpers bring us together! 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Hanging School Pictures

I am going to come right out and say it, I did not take good pictures in school. I don't remember being embarrassed at the time, but looking back on it, I didn't have a ton of help. See, my parents were divorced and I would live 6 months with my mom and 6 months with my dad. I was with my mom October thru March and with my dad from April thru September. Pictures were always in September.

My worst school picture, 7th 
A meltdown would usually occur when it came time to do my hair for school. Don't get me wrong, my dad would offer to help, but we were both lacking that skill set, big time. I was not a girly girl, but I loved when I looked pretty and I could sure as heck tell the difference. Occasionally my brother would be sympathetic, but most of the time he would just laugh, which never helped matters.

Beyond the hair, my wardrobe choices were less than flattering. I remember wearing the same terry cloth short-sleeve shirt for picture day two years in a row, on purpose! I thought it was perfect because it was colorful…which would also make it memorable (although looking back, not in a good way).

Skye's Kindergarten picture
All this reminiscing is because I'm getting my kids school pictures ready to hang, and I wasn't home for "Picture Day" to help get them ready this year. I tried to pick out their outfits ahead of time, figuring Spider would be easy and trying to give Skye a leg up. My daughter's clothes were set, but I didn't think about finalizing the hair situation, and it was traumatic. My husband was a rock star, and helped all he could. Skye wanted her hair curly, so he "curled" her hair…with a flat iron. Snickering to myself at the thought, I asked how she looked, and he said…"They do have re-takes."

Okay. Okay. At least my son should have been no problem. Before I left, we discussed it and he was to pick out a nice collared shirt and a pair of chords or jeans. Picture Day morning, he picked out his outfit and my husband said he looked so handsome. So, we’re all good. Then I get a call from his school asking if we wanted his picture today…the teacher's rational was "just wondering if you want him in that outfit." Having no idea what Spidey was wearing, I smiled to myself and said, "Well, he picked it out special for picture day."

The way I figure it, school pictures exist so you can make fun of yourself later. The less perfect the better.

Friday, February 10, 2012

My time on Celebrity Cook-Off

Now that the show is over and the Super Bowl has passed, I've had a chance to reflect on my experience with Rachael v. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off so I thought I'd share.

In all honesty, reality shows freak me out a bit, both watching them and being on the them. It feels like you never know what you are going to see or what people might say about you. It's like the worst version of high school back to haunt you. But when the opportunity to appear on the Food Network came up and I had a chance to compete for Right To Play, I had faith that it was going to be less about the drama and more about the food. It turns out, the food brought the drama!

When they were casting for the show, they asked me if I cooked. My response was "Every single day! For my family." But I made sure they knew that my "clientele's" average age was 4 and that mild, healthy and colorful were my general guidelines :)

The experience as a whole was phenomenal! I couldn't say this before the show aired, but Lou, Coolio and Cheech were BY FAR the best cooks in the kitchen. They were chef-like. I think that's why I was blown away when my steak beat cheech...thank you daddy for the bloody mary butter! But I learned a to hold a knife properly, to never move a piece of meat when it first meets the heat, how to feel whether a steak is done by comparing it to the meaty part of the palm of your hand, that infused butter is SUPER EASY to make, and that a little love goes a LONG way when it comes to food.

We shot the entire show in 10 days over the summer in NYC. My kids came along, and we made the whole experience an adventure. Thank you Food Network, Guy and Rachael…what a ride! And congratulations LDP! You were amazing.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

My first & only Super Bowl

My first and only Super Bowl was Super Bowl XXVII on Jan. 31, 1993. The game featured the Dallas Cowboys vs. Buffalo Bills (ironic, that I am a huge Bills fan). Garth Brooks sang the national anthem, and Michael Jackson preformed at half-time, which might have been the greatest halftime ever! I was straight off the Barcelona Olympics, and SO excited to be invited to my first Super Bowl. My brother, Trevor, came along as my guest and we went to as many events as possible leading up to the game. Of course, it was nothing like it is now, But one event that sticks out was the Sports Illustrated party. All Trevor wanted to do was meet Kathy Ireland. (I think she was on the cover of the swimsuit issue that year), and when we walked into the party, we immediately began to scan the room for her. I secretly found her, and guided Trevor over to her table and introduced myself and then with a huge smile, introduced my brother. We said good-bye about 45 seconds later, and I walked away quickly with a giggle. I turned to Trevor and said, "What did you think? Are you so excited you met her?"

He looked at me, stunned and said, "Who? Excited to have met who?"

"Kathy Ireland!!" I said. He response, and I quote: "What? I just met Kathy Ireland?"

He was too busy looking for her that he didn't even realize WHO he as meeting. It's a CLASSIC memory to this day.

The Final score of the game was Dallas 52, Bills 17 :(. I was a Junior at Stanford, so after the game we rushed to airport and back to reality. So far that's my only Super Bowl experience. But it was amazing!

Enjoy your Super Bowl Sunday!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Theme Parks...worth the wait

What I really learned from theme parks.

Ending our day at Disney
My son Spider and I are fresh off a quick trip to Orlando. I had taken Skye to LA as a special treat, so when this opportunity came up for work outing, it had Spider's name written all over it.  He had no idea what "Disney World" meant, but he was still spreading the word around his preschool.  He actually had to check with me. It was too cute..."This weekend I am going to….mom...where am I going again?" The excitement and anticipation of a theme park is almost overwhelming. Experiencing it brings me back to my youth, and what I remember most  from my theme park experiences was that they were my first SERIOUS introduction to LINES!  Lines everywhere.  Lines to get thru the turnstile.  Lines to meet Mickey.  Lines to go to the bathroom.  Mega lines for Splash Mountain.  

What I realized during this trip to Magic Kingdom with my 4- year-old is that theme parks are great teachers of patience.  They teach us that great things are worth waiting for, and often times, the anticipation is half of the excitement.  I was so proud of my little dude.  He only complained twice while waiting in line…much better than his mom! :)