Monday, February 14, 2011

A Blogger with MOJO!

When I started MvD, I was looking for dads to consult with, and to bounce ideas off of, and to connect with dads who were trying their best to be dads and a man.  When connecting with dads, it is reasonable to assume that you will come across some great moms as well.  One such mom is the author of the Mojo Mama Blog

She is one of the few people I've met since starting MvD that I've had the opportunity to have a real chat with.  We happen to cross online paths in the midst of adversity and stressful situation.  In these moments (though brief), her character became apparent.  She is a protective lioness who you don't want to encounter when she's on the hunt

I'm sure there are good and bad sides to ourselves that we are aware of, but an online identity allows us the freedom to shed some of our inhibitions and become amplified versions of ourselves.  In these moments of stress, and venting, she showed that she was a person who wants what is best for her family, she is willing to help others, but she is not willing to be walked over. 

I was glad she was willing to answer my interview questions, and I liked all her answers so much that I will just let you see what she wrote for yourself:

  • How long have you been working on Mojomamablog? - Just over six months now.  I added a widget on my sidebar to track the countdown to my blogoversary.  I'm not quite sure what it is I'm going to do when it comes, but I'm excited to hit my one-year!

  • Where did the name come from? - I had a friend that I'd been working with on some other projects, and she joked with me that I was the "Mama of Mojo".  I had been reading some parenting blogs, and wanted a nickname to use to sign comments, so I started signing things MojoMama.  However, that wasn't available on Twitter or as a website, so I tacked Blog on to the end of it, and both were available, so that works! :) 
  • Why did you start blogging? - I've blogged on and off for the last several years, and I've always loved the interaction with the other bloggers.  For a long time, I only blogged through LiveJournal, and as great as that is, and as intimate it is, I really prefer the more open blogging of the blog I have now.
  • Have these reasons changed or evolved over the years? - I'd say they've ebbed to different reasons, back and forth.  I first started blogging back in college, mostly on MySpace (hack hack) a long time ago.  And then I moved to some old blogging sites that some of my friends used.  Once I got pregnant with my older son, I moved to LiveJournal and got really involved there, and actively blogged there for several years.  When I first started, it was because it was fun, and a great way to stay in contact with old friends from school.  Once I started the LiveJournal, I had just moved to a new very small town with my husband for his work, and my doctor had me on a low-activity "diet" with my pregnancy, so I actively blogged there to interact with other people because I was lonely.  Then I blogged because it was fun, as my life became more active again.  And now?  I'd say that I blog for the interaction in the outside world as well as to reach out to other moms with kids like my son.  (A really long answer, I'm sorry!)

  • What are your plans or goals for your blog? - I'd love to be able to interact with lots of new people, and I really want to maybe help other moms who are looking to understand their kids with Aspergers, and figure out exactly what it is, and how it can affect their children.  That's one of the big reasons I actually set up a tab on my blog specifically for Aspergers, different resources as well as specific posts I've written about it.  Right now, we're really dealing a lot with it in our life, so my posts about it will very likely become more frequent.  There are several other bloggers that I read that have kids with Autism, and having a plethora of different moms out there who are dealing with it, I think, can really comfort some people who feel like they're overwhelmed with their situation, knowing that there are other people out there who are or have gone through the very same thing.  I know it's been comforting to me!
Parenting the Exceptional:
  • Can you describe your family (in whatever level of detail you like)? - My husband and I have been married for over five years now, and we've definitely had our ups and downs, but overall, it's been a happy marriage.  Our older son, Turbo, was born three months after we got married -- oh yes, I was barefoot and pregnant at my wedding -- and is now 5 years old; three and a half years after that, we had our younger son, Bug, who is now 19 months old.  My husband -- Mr. Mojo -- is about half Mexican, with dark hair and dark eyes, but surprisingly, both of our boys came out with blue eyes, and red hair (with tempers to match!).

  • Are you willing to talk about your exceptional child? - Absolutely!  I'm actually surprised by how few people understand what Autism is, or even Aspergers.  Many people comment that they know someone with Aspergers, but many times don't really know what it is.  I do my best to try and educate a little bit here and there.

  • How has raising an him changed he way you look at life? I am assuming it has changed because mine has changed just from working with exceptional children. - Oh, I would absolutely say so!  It's even changed the way I LIVE my life.  Things are easiest and best when my son is in situations that are in control and low-stimulation.  So in our house, we don't generally have a lot of loud noises, not a whole lot of high-impact situations.  Everything is a certain way, certain types of music, so it means having an mp3 player with a preset playlist for rides in the car, and very carefully mapping out our day, and what we're doing, to try and make everything low-impact.  So when I, personally, get into a situation outside of our usual, it can be somewhat overwhelming for me too!

  • What is your favorite thing about each of your sons? - Turbo has got the most infectious laugh.  He finds the most random things absolutely hysterical.  And when he tends to have a fairly monotone way of talking, hearing his laugh just suddenly burst out at something that happens is like a ray of sunlight.  Sometimes, on a rough day where I could really use a smile, I'll go over and tickle him just to hear him laugh.  He is probably the most ticklish child I have EVER met!  Bug is absolutely hysterical to watch throughout the day.  Just different ways he goes about the house, you can tell his mood simply by the way he walks!  If he's feeling silly, he'll walk kind of hunched forward, knees bent, and arms straight out behind him, like he's taking off for flight.  If he's proud of himself for something, he walks standing straight up, his hands clasped behind his back, like a little peacock strutting around the house.  And his emotions are always plastered across his face. 
  • Who was or is your your intended audience? - Honestly, I don't know that I really have an intended audience so much as just anybody who wants to read my blog.  I really enjoy interacting with everybody, but especially parents, because we all understand each other a bit better.

  • What do you hope a visitor to your blog leaves with, or leave knowing about you and your family? - My goal is to always make somebody smile, whether through my blog, my Twitter, or in real life.  So even if they don't learn anything new, I'd love for them to have a smile.

  • What do you hope your regular followers get out of your blog? - I'm still figuring out the whole responding to comments thing, but I'd like to think that my followers know how very much their comments mean to me!  I hope they feel the appreciation that I feel when I get a comment on my posts, or how much their thoughts uplift me on particularly difficult posts.  I'd like them to not only get to know me, but I'd like them to feel some sort of camaraderie that I feel as well.

  • You said that you're not that interesting, so I'm going to ask you why you think I wanted to do this about you? - Honestly, I have no idea!  Haha  When I initially saw your tweet, I didn't realize that you truly wanted to interview me, I thought it was just one of those tweets that goes out to share a post, and maybe look for new topics?  I'm guilty of sending out a few of those.  I was flattered to know that you actually did want to interview me!  Of all the parents of special children, I find that I'm not one of the most interesting or entertaining, but it's a work in progress, and it's nice to know somebody sees the progress!
My Conclusion:
What I get from this Mojo Mama, is that she appreciates and understands the importance of relationships and interactions.  I am working on that.  I am a Special Education teacher and was drawn to the fighting spirit she has when her children are concerned.  I have come across many parents of exceptional children, but it was her fight for her kids that lets me know that they will be successful.  With a mom with this much mojo in your corner, wouldn't you be?

Thanks again MojoMama,

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Superficial Manhood

Just a quick post about the distortion of manhood in America.  I have recently started a subscription to Men's Health magazine because I've hit a plateau in what I can do to get back in shape on my own.  With my paid subscription, I received the Big Black Book of Secrets: The Guy Guide to Male Wisdom
I have had this for about a week, and have only been able to make it as far as the table of contents.  I will lay out the sections of this guy's guide, then explain where I see the issue. 

1) Muscle up fast
2) Lose your gut
3) Dating and seduction
4) Power food for men
5) Supplements for men
6) Awesome Abs
7) Over-the-top performance
8) The sex position playbook
9) Look great, feel great
10) Fast health fixes
11) How to be a great dad

Did you catch it?  Issue number 1... actually, my ONLY issue is that Men's Health's idea of manhood doesn't include anything that deals with internal health.  I don't mean the foods you eat, but the mental and emotional health that men also need to work on.  The only section that you may think comes close is the being a dad section, but even that one is a series of quick how-to blurbs. 

Being a man is not something you do, it is something you are.  In an age where male and female roles are no longer separate, there are too few things that we do that we can say make us men.  However, there are plenty of things that we are, and can be that make us men. 

So here's the discussion question: What intangibles make up the men you admire most, and do you strive to become yourself?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Here We Go Again

I am in the middle of the longest conversation I've have with my mother I the last 5 years. It's been longer, I'm sure, but I'm giving a conservative estimate. This conversation, however, has only consisted of less than 10 texts back and forth. That's how little I've been able to, or had to say. Thank goodness fir the march or time, I think I can actually remain calm and unemotional (or at best, keep my emotions in check). I'm curious to see what comes of this exchange between us, but I'm not holding my breath.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


30 MUST not be that old.  Granted, I don't feel like I did when I was 20, but then again I didn't feel like i was 10... so why look back?

What's most messed up about looking at 20 fondly is that I had bad health habits.  I played college ball, I ate like a billy goat (whatever crossed my path), and I worked out 5-6 days each week with great athletes.  Now, I can only average working out 2-3 times each week and jump on the Kinect a couple more times, and I lift alone.  So it's easy to get caught-up in wanting to lose the full 40 lbs I've put on since college ball.

I know 40 lbs sounds like a lot of weight, but here's my (unhealthy) diet that kept me at 200 lbs during the season.  I woke up, ate nothing for breakfast, went to classes, would lose my appetite in the cafeteria and eat a large salad for lunch, or nothing again, have a mandatory team workout, practice, get home around 6, and carbo-load on pasta for the next day.

If eating different and less would do it, I would have been there.  I was down at 230 (about 10 away from my current goal), but I had not worked out for several years and it was all muscle atrophy.  Once I started working out again, I immediately put on 10 lbs.

Now my thinking is that I want to go from 240-220, add some muscle bulk, add lots of conditioning, find my abs again under my padding, and rediscover my athletic-ness.  I will lose weight and add the muscle in a way that is sustainable to my life now with two young kids.  In other words, slow and steady wins the race. 

So I'm going to be 30.  I've been to Canada (a short drive from Seattle), Mexico, Ecuador, and Greece.  I still have yet to visit Asia, Australia, and Africa visit a friend in Nigeria).  There is much left to do, and 20-something me couldn't do it, but 30-something me will.

20s - Working jobs, trying to make it through school.

30s -Working my career and providing for my family.
20s - No plan, just wingin' it.

30s -Deliberate and directed.
20s - Known as someone's brother and someone's son.

30s -Known as someone's husband and someone's dad.
20s - Assumed things about people.

30s -Learned things about people.
20s - Believed the hype.

30s -Became the hype.

Come on 30s!  Whatchu Got?