About a month ago, while I was in the throes of putting together my 30 Day Challenge together, I was nominated for 2 awards! Woo Hoo!! I always feel like Taylor Swift, with this “OMG! ME?! REALLY!?!” face on every time I receive a nomination. It really is awesome to be recognized for how cool your blog is, considering that most of us really love doing it, and enjoy sharing our lives and stories with others, hoping that maybe, just maybe, something we say will resonate with someone, will touch someone or impact them in some way. It’s always an incredible feeling when that happens. So…the awards! Shout out to Emma over at Mama Librarian, for making me feel super awesome. The coveted Liebster! Sweet! Head over and check out her blog.
The Rules – If you’re up for this award, please add a link to this post in yours. Answer my questions, nominate 11 bloggers with less than 200 followers, and think up 11 questions for them. These are Emma’s 11 questions for me, and I’ll answer them as directly as possible.
- What’s your favorite book? I read quite a bit, so having to pick one favorite book has proved a challenge, but if I have to pick JUST ONE, I would have to say “Falling to Pieces Without Falling Apart” by Mike Epstein. This book changed my life in such a profound way. It showed me (along with therapy) that I can feel what I need to feel, embrace it and not let it control me or my situation. It’s been highlighted in so many colors, and is in my nightstand for whenever I need a quick reminder. I recommend it to anyone that has ever struggled with mindfulness and controlling their emotions. Oh, and “Oh, the Places You’ll Go” by Dr. Suess, because have you read it?! It’s amazing!
- What were you like in kindergarten? In Kindergarten, from what I remember, I was a lot (personality wise) like I am now. Loud, rambunctious, sassy, funny, active, and occasionally ridiculously annoying. Also, I peed in my pants a lot. Also, also, that hasn’t really changed much. Callie actually bought be a pin that say, “I pee a little when I laugh”. True! True!
- In a movie of your life, who would play you? Wilmer Valderama. He is the male version of me. Ever since Fez from “That 70’s Show”, his effeminate, hilarious, ridiculous persona is EXACTLY who I am…when I am drunk. Appendages flailing everywhere, a bit of an accented slur (English is not my first language friends. I am an ESL graduate since the 3rd grade! REPRESENT!), and the humor. Oh the humor! That’s who I would want. Oh and if he can’t, then Edward James Olmos, because well, scary latino guy is totally me!
- What’s the best thing about being a parent? (Or what do you imagine it would be?) One of my favorite thing about being a parent is seeing myself reflected in my kids. It’s still a little early to tell with the boys, but so far a few things I’ve noticed are that Levi has THE. BEST. sense of humor! Half the time, he doesn’t even know what the hell he’s laughing at, but it is almost always ridiculously funny, except for when it’s bed time. He also loves books. It’s the one of the only times that his attention is focused for a long time. Noah, he’s pensive, and observant, and loves to be independent and do his own thing. Mary, well, she’s a daredevil, adrenaline junkie who always wants to learn tricks on her scooter/skates/bicycle, and exhibits no fear! That kid, she’s my little twin. I never thought that biology would really have such a small part in who these kids are. But then again, the donor had many of the same attributes that I have. How does that explain Mary then?! It was just meant to be…
- What’s the hardest thing about being a parent? (Or what do you imagine it would be?) The hardest thing about being a parent sometimes (and this changes constantly, but this week) is not being able to protect your kids from all of the ugly out in the world, from all of the crazy, and all of the injustice. You do your best, like your parents did, and their parents did, but the reality is that you can’t protect them 100% of the time. Heck, if you can protect them 50% of the time, that’s pretty damn impressive (fill me in please!). I just hope that we do well enough that they will stand up for themselves and for others. That they will be kind and generous and loving. I hope they are good kids, with kinds hearts. That would be awesome…
- Introvert or extrovert? Extrovert all day! BABY BABY (said like B.I.G.)!
- What do you wish more people understood about you? I wish that people understood that despite my tough exterior (soft butch, 225lbs, brolic me) my feelings get hurt. Not often (because I am able to just brush stuff off pretty easily, especially if you are irrelevant in my life) but sometimes it does hurt my feelings. Just because I have a great sense of humor doesn’t mean that I’m immune to their “jokes”. That they don’t hurt and offend me. But I guess when I retaliate with a “snap/diss” of my own, it seems like it doesn’t bother me. It does…it really does….
- Cat person or dog person? Dog person for sure, although, I won’t lie, I never liked cats until I actually had one. But I have also had dogs, and although I love my kitty (that best kitty on the planet, obviously) I’m not a cat person in the least bit, and will probably never get another cat ever again once Gracie is gone. I can’t stand the hair and the liter box. They’re both absolutely disgusting!
- Where have you never been that you want to visit some day? Greece. It looks so beautiful. The color of the water. The culture. The history. It’s my dream vacation. Callie and I decided that when we get around to having our “real” wedding, our honeymoon is totally Greece.
- Who was your favorite teacher in school, and why? This is a toss up. There was Ms Doherty, my 9th grade English teacher – she was the bomb dot com! She was the teacher that got you to really LOVE reading, and taught us to be analytical and not take what we were reading at face value. That the author didn’t wanna flat out SAY what he meant, but that you had to look for the meaning in everything. Some of the books that we read in her class are still some of my favorites 15 years later. Then there was C.C. Yup, he let us all call him by his first name, because he wanted us to know that he was all about “mutual respect”. “I don’t call you Mr. Smith, or Ms. Mendez, do I? You can call me C.C., with an understanding that we are to treat each other as equals. I treat you with respect, and you treat me with respect.” That’s what he told us the first day of school. Then the next day, someone had gone into his desk, used his stapler, and broken it and then put it back as if nothing happened. “Come on man! Y’all need to respect my shit too! I don’t go into your bag and break YOUR shit! JESUS!” Yup! That cemented my love for C.C. We’re Facebook friends. He visited me when I was in the psych hospital. He invited me to his wedding. He’s family…
- What are children today missing out on? I say this all the time… they are missing out on Manhunt, getting yelled at for not coming in when the street lights come on, playing jump rope with all the kids in the neighborhood, getting sunburned cheeks and skinned knees, mosquito bites, jars full of fireflies, not wanting to go inside to pee because mom will make you stay in, and being embarrassed by having your government yelled out the window when it’s time to come inside. “SAMANTHA MARIE MENDEZ, you have one minute to get your behind inside! Don’t MAKE me go out there and get you!” They are missing out on running in the sprinklers, and Bazooka Joe wrapped in miniature comics. They are missing out on “outside”. Everything about it. Know what their not missing?! Screen time…
1. I’m not going to nominate that many people, because that just seems crazy, but I will nominate a few blogs that I feel people should be reading for a multitude of reasons.
- Impossibly Royal – because I love that family, deeply…and twins!
- My Kid Doesn’t Poop Rainbows – because REAL LIFE with a toddler. And it’s hella funny!
- Solo Mama – because raising a kid, on your own, in a big city, can’t possibly be easy, but she’s killing it, and living to tell about it!
- Mama et Maman – because friends like this are hard to find, and their journey is totally worth reading…
- My Perfect Breakdown – because courage, resiliency, and friendship…
- Fisticuffs and Shenanigans – because no matter what mood you’re in, you’ll laugh. And a good ole’ laugh at that!
- The Other Mother of Four – because raising 4 kids is no joke, but they kick some serious ass! Smart, talented and beautiful family…and more twins!
- Shawns and Cade – because they both write entries and it’s interesting to see it from both perspectives (and their little Bean is BEYOND adorable!), and I love them…
- Bs and Babies – because they lost so much, but kept on fighting, and came out stronger on the other side. Oh, and even MORE twins!
2. Life as a Gay Mom – this lady, and her beautiful family, has some really insightful stuff on her blog. I love reading her posts and enjoy getting to know her and her family better. I wish we were closer sometimes, so we could hang out. We seem like we are kindred spirits. Go on over and check her out.
3. Five random facts about me! This is my favorite!!! <—-excited much?!
- I can sing the alphabet backwards. Been able to do it since third grade. Really random and bizarre talent. Something like 3% of the population can do this because our brains have a hard time registering the order since its been ingrained in us to learn it forwards.
- When I was younger, my siblings, my neighbors, and I made almost $70 selling lemonade in one weekend. We also sold a stray kitten that we found when crossing a neighbors yard and we heard the meow. The kitten was a third of our earnings. We named him Cinnamon. Then, we spent it all on a pizza party.
- I was never nominated for a Helen Hayes Award (the Tony’s of High School Musicals in our area), but on every college application, I sure as shit said I was! I felt slighted. I shoulda been nominated. I was the best damn jester that “Once Upon a Mattress” has ever seen!
- I have watched “The L Word” series, in its entirety, 4 times. All of the seasons. I intend to watch it again…multiple times…
- I wear my black “The North Face” Hot Shot backpack EVERYWHERE! I’ve had it for 10 years and do not intend to ever get rid of it. It’s my equivalent of a purse. It’s been with me on every trip I’ve ever taken, every hike, every outing, every lunch date, every sports game, every bar I’ve frequented. I often get poked fun at because of it. My friends remember it was one of the first things they noticed about me when we met. “You and that big ass backpack,” they say ALL THE TIME. I think I’ll pass it on to my kids…it’s pretty awesome…family heirloom or whatever….