Royal Housekeeping

I love it when a plan comes together.

As many of you might have guessed, some amazing things came out of the BlogHer conference. And it wasn’t all booze-fueled. Ok, most of it was…but not ALL of it.

Something that I am OVER THE MOON excited about is the Blogher Relief Network. This is where we, as a blogging community, get to give back. More details to come.

Sarah makes her Blogher debut today. Sports (and fitness too) whooooo hooo!

And Troll Baby has launched what might be one of the most powerful, raw and real blogs out there called Motherless. Check it out, and bring a hanky.

The Politics of Breeding

I had the balls to breed. Ok, I had the ovaries and he had the balls, but you know what I’m saying here. And apparently, that makes me less of a woman.

Stop and laugh about that for a second.

I made the choice to have children. And I’ve noticed lately, some beyootchs (Delta Flight 1781, seat 32B, some women at BlogHer who shall remain linkless, and that one woman I won’t even name because I’m sooooo over it and that little so-called “war�) aren’t too happy that I’ve procreated. I think. Or they aren’t too happy I left the workforce. Or they aren’t too happy I bring those children out in public and on a plane. Or maybe they are not too happy I actually write about my experiences as a mother. I’m not sure. I’m still fuzzy on why they are so cranky.

Maybe it’s not just the procreation that gets them. It’s the fact that I own my breeder status. I own it, I flaunt it, and dammit…I’ve got something to say. Sure I’m also a wife, a daughter, a writer, a reporter, a wannabe chef, a poet, a gardener, a sex goddess, and a sports nut. But my main focus, at this moment, is mother. I reserve the right to change that at any given time. But during this phase of my womanly life, I’m all mom.

My clothing says I nurse proudly. My blog says I cosleep proudly. My minivan just screams “Mooommmmmmmmy� as it motors through suburbia to preschool. You might as well stick me in khaki capri’s and a white t-shirt, label me “generic suburban mom, version 2.0,� and send me off to the PTA meeting.

That is who I was to the bitch who sat in front of my children and I as we travel across the country today. The one who moaned and groaned and when my daughter let out one of maybe two brief cries said “Oh Jesus, kids. Here we go!� She gave us dirty looks, she even gasped and sighed as my son giggled loudly. But her really nasty glares were directed at me. She looked at me like I was a poor excuse for a woman. She looked at me like it was my fault Hillary wasn’t President yet. She looked at me like I let her down.

I wanted to scream “…BUT I USED TO BE A REPORTER! I AM NOT JUST A…�

Why do I feel a need to make sure she knows I’m more than a Mom? Why do I look at these women and feel the urge to give them my resume? Will it somehow subside my Caucasian, stay-at-home, privileged guilt?


Kelly and I noted that the BlogHer Mommyblogging session was filled with Version 2.0. Our ankle tattoos varied here and there, but the majority of us were white, stay-at-home, Mommybloggers, bitching about how we felt belittled by the term “Mommyblogger.�


I used that session to try and get everyone to look ahead. To take this media darling role we’ve been given and shape it.

Maybe we’re still getting all the hate because we’re doing a whole lot of talking and complaining (me included) and not enough action.

Politicians do a lot of socializing. They gab and handshake and hug and talk about the kind of world they envision for their children.

Sounds a lot like Mommybloggers. Maybe that’s why they hate us so much.

So far, my kids have learned colors, letters, numbers and the usual from me. They have also learned that Mommy likes her lattes and her computer. She likes her computer friends so much that we get to go on vacation to see them all. I can’t think of many single moms who can do that. I can’t think of many lower income moms who can do that.

My kids need to learn more. They need to learn that Mommy can raise her kids and make a difference. She can work to see that next years Mommyblogging session isn’t so white. So suburban. She can use her role in today’s hottest new trend to get some laptops for some under priviledged Moms. Maybe internet service. Maybe a trip to BlogHer ’07. And who knows what else. But I’ve got the 24-hour hamster wheel going in my head since I returned from San Jose.

Instead of telling all the haters to stop reading us. Or to recognize what a hard job we have, and how important it is that we raise the next generation. I plan on earning their respect. I plan on working my ass off so the next time I get on a plane with my kids, the woman in front of us smiles at me with respect. Gratitude, even.


We can’t change our soccer mom image over night. Hell, most of us don’t even come close to fitting that image. And if nothing else, we can show our children what it really means to be a community.

I’ve got the balls. Do you?

…because it was so good, it deserves two posts

Let’s be honest here, ok. Just between friends.

If you are thinking of coming to BlogHer ’07 in Chicago, leave the kids at home.

Trust me. I speak from experience. Hotel-stair running, nursing during session, taking care of snotty nosed fever-boy, trying to get buzzed but not drunk, checking my cell for urgent babysitting in the room call, can’t really concentrate on all the beautiful people there experience.

I had to bring the kiddos to BlogHer ’06. Peanut needs the boob and there is no way around it. I wasn’t going to wean just to go alone. I wasn’t going to force a cup or bottle when clearly, it isn’t wanted. So here we are. Babe on hip, eyes rolling.

Nose picking at BlogHer

And then there are my partners in crime. Sarah and the Kaiser did much drinking.

He has a special place in his heart

Let’s not forget Mocha Momma. Oh that Mocha. She helped me…um…well, …think Caddyshack, Baby Ruths, and some poorly left-out WW candy. That’s all I’m saying. And yes. She licked. She licked EVERYONE.

Mocha strikes again

Here we have the Pastie Queen Her Bad Mother humping Jennster

Catherine and Jennster

And we can’t forget IzzyMom, Christina, and Sarah (again)-

Mommybloggers session

The glorious and buff Fizzle caught some slightly blurry but beautiful shots of the Princess and I.

She just seems to OWN the shirt

It was like meeting people you have known all your life, yet never hugged. Yes, those hugs felt that good. I kept touching all the wonderful women and men I’ve grown to know and adore, making sure they were real. Really standing next to me. Laughing with me. Laughing at me.

I love my children. But next year I will be completely selfish and leave them behind. I didn’t get enough time with these people I already miss. That I need more hugs from. More humps from. More licks from. And even more dirty looks from.

The Queen has left San Jose

There is a stretch of Interstate 5 between Los Angeles and San Jose that will be scarred forever as a result of the Queen of Spain’s trek to Blogher ’06.It started with multiple stops, one on a dirt road in front of a tractor dealership, in a desperate and very tense attempt to stop the siren wails of one darling daughter. It ended with the Queen, topless, contorting herself in front of a car seat, jamming a tit into a baby’s mouth while the Kaiser drove 80 miles an hour.

And all of this was well before I drunkenly bitched at Dooce.

Make no mistake. Blogher 2006 was the year of the Mommyblog.

The Mom Army* had numbers this year and that really, really pissed off some women. All the panels talked to us. All the sponsors and corporate reps were courting us. The daycare was busy and the breastfeeding room quiet and thoughtful.

And while I stumbled to figure out “why all the hate?� I realized it’s all cyclical. Just because we were the media darlings this year, doesn’t mean women political bloggers or community assistance bloggers won’t hog the limelight next year.

You may not have liked that we were getting attention for posts on diapers and our ovaries, but keep in mind you don’t get anymore woman than mother. They go hand in hand. So make room for us and quit your bitching. You’ll get your turn. And if you don’t, just ride our coattails.

Speaking of bitching. Yes. It’s true. I marched up to Heather Armstrong and wanted to know why there seemed to be a disconnect between the first wave of mommybloggers and the second wave. I was not eloquent. I was not without slur. And being the Queen that I am, I went on and on and made no sense, all while spilling my free zinfandel on the shoes of those with mouth agape around me.

I think I redeemed myself, or at least clarified myself, at the following day’s Mommyblogger session.

Intentional or unintentional, we have formed a very close, strong community through mommyblogging. And I now rely on that community.

Everyday I share my virtual cup of sugar with my mom neighbors. Every day I feel less alone. Everyday I laugh my ass off at our silliness and joke about blow jobs and antidepressants and yes, pasties (Her Bad Mother, I’m looking at you)
As we gain in popularity, I really don’t want to lose that. I really feel that’s what makes us…well, us.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have a fucking clue what to do about it. For those of you looking to expand (myself included) do you have a plan?

And before I get too serious, yes…there was debauchery and drunkenness and even a criminal element (blame Mocha, I had NOTHING to do with it). But I’ll save that for later. I gotta leave you hangin’. Because, you see…I missed most of EVERYTHING because Count Waffles and Nana got sick on Saturday.

Self fulfilling prophecy, I guess. The Kaiser partied downstairs while I wiped snot and administered children’s Tylenol. 24-hour Mom.

Part two, later. Including my hand holding with Arianna Huffington and my new girl crushes on Lisa Stone, Mir, and Grace Davis.

*IzzyMom is the clever one who made up Mom Army. I’m so not that clever.

On the road

Is there a patron saint of roadtrips with kids? I nominate St. Elmo of the Street.


We pray to you, St. Elmo, giver of bad grammar, seer of talking doors, to guide us safely to San Jose.

Make our trip free from diaper explosions, screaming explosions, tire explosions, temper explosions, “why? why? why?” explosions-explosions of any kind, really.

Oh, mighty Red One, give my husband the patience to deal with two children, a drunk wife, AND a mother-in-law. See that he is rewarded, nightly, with booze and bj’s.
We ask that you give the small ones slumber. Lots and lots of naps. And an overwhelming sense of calm. Zen, really. We ask you make the children zen until, at least, Sunday night.

We ask that you give Mommy a guilt-free weekend with friends. That she not be compelled to check the status of her children or their caretakers. We ask she also be given a new liver, once the fun is over. And if you see fit, no headaches or other post drinking symptoms. Please make her witty, charming, marketable. Or just witty and charming.
Elmo, hear our prayer.

San Jose, here we come.

The Queen and her Entourage-Blogher06

My MOTHER is coming to BlogHer06.

This started out as a Queen Alone Time WEEKEND and now my entire family, minus the cats, are coming to San Jose. When I travel, I travel with an entourage.

The kids are coming because the Princess is nursing. The Kaiser is coming to watch the kids. The mother is coming to watch the kids so the Kaiser can par-tay. And the flea on the mouse and the mouse on the cat and the cat on the dog and the dog…nevermind.

It’s all good, though. I not-so-secretly hope you girls hijack my Mom at some point and feed her a drink. Just one. That’s all she needs.

You see, my Mom and I are more than just Mother and Daughter. Or maybe that is exactly what we are. Mother and Daughter. Our relationship is wrapped in emotion, exhaustion, annoyance, and mothering. But while I can turn on the “friend� with my Mom and shut off the “daughter,� she rarely shuts off the “mom.� I mean, I know I never shut off the “mom� so the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Which is why she could use a drink. Or two. No, not two. Just one or she won’t be capable of watching my kids. See there, that was me not being able to shut off the “mom.�

My Mom got pregnant with me at 18. Which, I think, contributes to our closeness. She was still a babe when she had a babe. And we grew up together as friends and family.

Admittedly, as Queen of Spain, I don’t have as many girlfriends in my offline life as I do in my online life. I live far away from all the girls I grew up with. I live far away from college friends. And now I have “mom� friends. So my own mother remains my constant girlfriend. She knows BlogHer is big for me. And I know that she knows that I know she wants to witness. She’s very bad at pretending. She’s very good at mothering. She’s making double sure I get my “Queen Alone Time Weekend –with added bonus of witty, charming, handsome, successful, drunk, husband sprinkled here and there.�

Queen of Spain is a team effort. My behind the scenes crew is poised to make sure I have a good time. A good time in which I don’t worry about my kids. Wonder if they had lunch. Need a nap. A juice box. A kiss. A good time in which I also don’t feel any sort of guilt. These people love me so much they are bending over backwards to get me out and networking. Making sure my business cards are ready. Making sure I have the right shoes for the skirt. Taking off work. Getting on planes.

So, I figure I’m either extremely well loved. OR I’m so certifiable and out of my mind insane that this is the only way my husband and mother can guarantee I actually get out of my sweats, go do something I want, that is for me and no one else (read: kids) and have a good time.

I think I should throw in some Diva attitude, though. Just for good measure. I mean, if I’m going to travel to a blogging conference with this many people in my entourage, I should start demanding things.

I said put the baby’s PINK shoes on…not her red ones. And WHERE is my Lipton Green Tea?

I already tried that with the Hyatt. I still have two double beds for 5 people. Don’t they know I’m the Queen???

…Go check out the blogher site today. And please, say Hi to my mom. She’ll feel all famous.

Say goodbye, Miss Junior USA (and hello to Karl)

I had to fight the urge to buy the Required Suburban Mom Uniform today. I wanted capri’s. I wanted yet another dull colored t-shirt. Practical, durable, tough, boooooooooooooorrrrrrrrrrrrrriiiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnnnnng, My inner junior miss wasn’t having it.

Why is all the cool stuff regulated to the junior section? I like tattoo-ish designs. I like bling. I even like me some low-rise. (Not ass-crack low-rise, just make-my-butt-look-smaller low-rise) Shopping today for the upcoming BlogHer conference, I realized that I could either dress like a teenager or dress like a school marm. Sure, I am trying to be classic in my 30’s. But why do I have to sacrifice any sort of style???? As a 31-year-old mother of two, am I allowed to be hip? Sexy? Not Stifler’s Mom -whorey…but subtle sexy.

I know this will come as a shock to my husband, who trips over my overstuffed closet and drawers daily…but I have nothing to wear. I’m not saying that in the, I have a closet full of crap I CAN wear, but choose not to wear way…I’m saying, I really have nothing to wear. Sweatpants and a tank top will not cut it in San Jose this weekend. And it occurred to me recently that I could either wear pre-children work clothes from 2002 that are too big, or I could wear post 1st child skinny clothes that are too casual for a conference.

I had to shop. For ADULT clothes. Not go to playgroup clothes. Not get dirty in the sand at the park clothes. But honest to God, adult clothing.

It wasn’t easy. But after two hours of hell on earth, including more shades of khaki than any one woman should ever try on, I emerged victorious. Crisp, fresh, tailored, skirt and blouse combo (did I just say “blouse?�). Hint of flash. Tons of style. I am the freaking Queen afterall. Can’t show up somewhere calling yourself the Queen looking like one of the help.

This is also a very longwinded way of me introducing a guest post. Karl wrote me weeks ago with a little post on we women and our clothing. I’ve been putting off posting it forever because #1 It’s fun to mess with Karl. I mean, he is a GUY going to blogHER (we all want to know your REAL motives) and #2 My site has been going through some wonkiness since the move. And #3 the Kaiser isn’t keen on any man chatting up his woman. It’s ok Karl, just buy the Kaiser a drink. Or five.

Ecru and Aubergine
by Karl Erikson

I was chatting with one of my bestest buds, Hilary, the other night. And as usual, the topic trains were zooming by quickly. We spoke about the porn film I’m producing (“Desperate Bukkake Ass Queens of Orange County”), about how use of the word ‘w00t’ should be reason enough for capital punishment, about euphemisms for genitalia (I’m still really pushing for “yabbamango” for the ladies), and about clothing.

Ladies, what is with the clothing? Don’t get me wrong, I love each and every one of you and I could look at you all day long in your various states of dress and undress. Seriously. But why the need for so many articles of clothing? I’ve had my share of girlfriends. And girl friends. Hell, I’ve even been married. I’ll just never get the fascination with apparel.

To me, it’s about the practicality. I have a closet (one) and a dresser (one). All the clothes I own could fit into a large suitcase. Even if I threw the five pairs of shoes in. I don’t need anything more than that. Underwear, tee shirts, shorts – that’s pretty much my every-day wear 90% of the year. I live in Florida. I also have socks, polo shirts, jeans, a few pairs of Dockers, a couple of suits, and ties. Oh, and shoes. That’s it. I’d show you a picture but you might freak out if you’re not used to seeing crime scene photos.

The beauty of having such a small selection of clothing is that I can be ready to go anywhere in just under three minutes flat. Movies? Typical shorts and tee shirt and sandals. First date? Polo shirt, Dockers, and loafers. First date at a really, really nice restaurant? Add a tie. Reading scripture at church on Sunday? Suit and dress shoes. Simple. I don’t have to freak out and deliberate. I’m decided, dressed, and driving in minutes.

But with women it’s different. It’s as if women ENJOY freaking out and stressing about what they’re going to wear. I can’t figure it any other way. Many of my female friends have more than just a walk-in closet. They’ve got adjunct closets in other rooms, too. And the closets are color freaking coded. “These are my ecru blouses, my yellows, my salmons, my reds, my aubergines…”

STOP. You had my eyes glazing over at ecru.

I have two pairs of jeans, no shit. Two. How many do you own? Hilary tells me she has five. I think that’s a really low number for a woman. I have friends who have dozens of pairs. Not dozens of pairs of pants, no. Dozens of pairs of just jeans. That’s friggin’ obscene, though I do kind of get turned on by the prospect of having so many pairs of jeans that I could do laundry maybe twice a year and get by just fine. What? I have three dozen pairs of underwear, I could totally make it happen.

This is a direct quote from our chat the other night, in which we debated the “need” for color-coding closets: “Well, when you have 40 pairs of pants and like 60 tops.” HUH?! Forty pairs of pants?

See, this is a major difference between men and women. Let’s say I have forty pairs of pants, just for the sake of ridiculous argument. If I’m walking through Sears or Clothes Whores USA and I see that they have pants on sale, I say to myself, “Well, I already have forty freaking pairs of pants” and I just keep on walking.

Not ladies. The idea of enough clothing doesn’t register with you. Women have some sort of brain defect that makes them say, “Ooh, 15% off. Those pants would go so well with that top I saw at Top Heavy, if I just pick up those flats I saw at Foot Fetish.” This is why getting ready for most of you requires at least several hours, plus a few weeks of pre-planning. You’ve got to go through the two bedroom closets, plus the closet in the study, the guest bedroom, and the entranceway.

Me, I enjoy not needing to consult Google Maps to find my fucking shirts.

So maybe you can explain it to me so that my feeble male mind can understand it. What is it with all the clothes, ladies? Wouldn’t it just be easier if you pared the wardrobe down to nothing but French maid outfits and Catholic schoolgirl uniforms? You know, the essentials.


Not really, but I’m a little tipsy, so I feel like I do.

In an honest effort to up my alkeehall tolerance level before BlogHer rocks the house, I had two, count them, TWO martini’s tonight. I’m such a freaking cheap date. Seriously. What does two drinks cost now-a-days?

Anyhoo, wanted to tell you kids about my kid, the boy one, and his superpowers. He found them yesterday morning in the driveway. His superpowers. Found them just sitting there on the driveway. So he did what any kid would do. He scooped them up, stuck them into his bellybutton, and went on with his day. Said, “There are my superpowers� scoop, sucked in his gut, and kept walking.

Here is the really fun part of that story…it was the Kaiser who saw it all and got to relay the whole thing to me. I love when crap like that happens and Daddy-who-works-ungodly-hours gets to be the one to see the supercool shit. That makes me happy.

Did I mention I swear EVEN more when I’m drunk. If that’s possible.

And about this whole meeting bloggers in real life thing…am really not nervous. Excited, but not nervous. Wondering how I will sneak out to nurse and not drink too too too much to get blogged about later (that freaking queen of spain, had TWO, count them TWO martinis and then went back to her room and NURSED her baby…we should call child protective services) because I KNOW I will end up flashing all of your cameras and I NEVER photograph well (hang on …the boobs photograph ok, the face, not so much) and I’m paranoid that I will not have any editorial control over your blogs. I like control. Yes, that’s one of my many therapy issues. Shut up, I’m getting better.

Anyway, that was my little way of saying one week left until we all meet. And seriously, will you guys know me, or will I need to wear a name tag or crown or something?

p.s. I know you guys are already over my tits because I totally gave you a HUGE picture of them a few posts back and it was like…eh, QofS’s tits again, no biggie.