Tuesday, July 30, 2013


For all of the endless chatter, articles, blogs, books, etc. about how hard parenting is, I have one response.  Suck it up. 

Staying at home with kids is difficult.  Working and then coming home to kids is difficult.  Being at war with kids is difficult.  Being physically or mentally ill with kids is difficult. 

No matter how you stack the deck, parenting is a supremely difficult task.  Day in and day out. 

Since it's so hard either way, why not do it "right"? 

Understand the magnitude of being a parent.  Fully grasp it. 

I'll give you a moment.

Once you commit to being a parent, it is up to you to protect that child and keep their best interest in mind. 

By planning, chance or circumstance, this little human was presented to you.  If you chose to be his/her parent, you must become fully responsible for this child's well being. 

Not your spouse, not God, not the "village".  You.

As an adult, do you recognize any disfunctions you have because of early childhood?  Can you recognize aspects of your adult relationships that are negatively impacted by the way you were treated as a child? 

When the world seems too hard to handle, what do you do to relieve stress? 

Confide in a loved one?  Listen or play music?  Meditate?  Exercise?  Spiritual readings?  Eat a clean healthy meal? 

Or do you have an arsenal of numbing agents?  Alcohol, drugs, unhealthy food, shopping, unintimate sex, tv/video games, social networking, violence against others, masochistic acts, etc.

Right now think of your child as an adult and honestly ask yourself if the way you are raising them is preparing them to be a well rounded person.  Or, are you helping to create a person that may attempt to "heal" themselves with numbing agents?

Wouldn't it be better to face your fears or inabilities now then look into your child's adult face and recognize you didn't do your best, or worse, you failed them and society. 

Do for your children as you wish was done for you.
Your child is an opportunity to provide for another being what you wish you were given as a child.
If you were neglected as a child, nurture yours.

If you were verbally abused, whisper kind and loving sentiments.

If you were physically threatened, recognize when your child is becoming a trigger and walk away.

This is not the blame game.  We become programmed by our upbringings and formed habits.  Until we bring light to the traumas we suffered as children, we may subconsciously do it to our own children.

Every child is different but the basics are the same.  They want to be listened to, guided, paid attention to, and protected.  They also need discipline and respect.  They need to be taught right from wrong. 

Please believe that you have the power to prevent what hurt you as a child, from hurting your child.

Take inventory of any cycles you may unknowingly be passing down.  

End the cycle.

If you don't, you will see your children have children of their own and repeat the cycle that happened to you that you passed to them.  Realize it now.  Recognize it. 

Embrace how important your role as parent is and do it to the best of your abilities.  Don't attempt to be perfect.  Spend time with your children.  Listen to them.  Hug them.  Tell them stories and ask them to tell you theirs.  Let them trust you.  Let them see you trust them and yourself.  
These children start out unharmed.  When they enter this world, they are a clean slate.  There is no right way to raise a child but there is a way to do your best to provide what is necessary to help create conscience, powerful, and compassionate people. 

This isnt a call to be a perfect parent or person.  It's a request to look at your past, recognize your present parenting and envision your child's future.  Then act accordingly. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


You may be wondering when is the appropriate time to have an emotional breakdown about the royal baby.  Oh, you weren't?

Anywho, let me tell you a little bit about this morning.

The boys and I went to swim class, then headed to Aa's so she could watch them while I went to a real life business appointment. 

I left Aa's at 10:17 and was nervous because the 11:00 am meeting was about 43 minutes away.  I put on my cell phones play list to calm my nerves. 

The first song was me and the baby's song, "Arms" by Christina Perry.  This was the first time I had heard it since the royal baby was born.  My eyes started to well up.  I think, Oh "s", here we go.

You all know me.  I don't get caught up in stuff and never write about current events or hot topics.

But there is just something about that royal family.   

I always felt a kindred connection with Princess Diana, even though I didn't learn much about her until after she passed away.  Now that I am a mom to two boys, that connection feels stronger. 

She was magical.  Can anyone deny that?  She was a beautiful woman trying to make the world a better place, all while in the spotlight.  She used her place of power to advocate for those less fortunate and to bring awareness to causes.

My family lived in England when Princess Diana and Charles were married.  I remember we went to a parade, or airport arrival, to see them in person.  I know one of my older sisters will remember this better since I was only 4 or 5.

I worked at a furniture store as a switchboard operator when one of the sales men came up and said he received a pager alert that Princess Diana died.  Ugh.  Dread washed over me. 

Flash forward to this morning. 

I'm in the car, speeding to my appointment listening to my baby's song.

I started to think about Prince William and how he is unable to share this beautiful baby with his mom, and that really sucks. 

The wells turned into streaming tears.

I flashbacked to my husband's response to his mom the second she walked into the hospital room to meet our son.  I saw his relationship with his mother change in an instant.  Seeing his son for the first time, I think he truly got just how much his mom loved him.  That's definitely what happened when I first saw my mom.  From children to peers, it was two moments I will never forget. 

When Prince William got married I was in New York visiting my parents with my boys and coverage was on the entire visit.  I wasn't into the hats or the jewels or the guest list.  All I could think about was this boy not being able to have his mother/son dance. 

Everyone got robbed.  Princess Diana for not being able to hold her grandbaby.  Kate for not being able to create a loving bond with the woman that raised her husband.  And that little baby boy for never getting to know the physical being of his grandma. 

God bless the Princess and her baby grandson. 

Sunday, July 14, 2013


It was 9 pm on launch day.  While the boys bathed, I was a couple feet away unpacking a travel bag from their weekend trip with their dad 4 days prior.  They bathe together (loudly) so I don't worry about leaving them for a minute or two while constantly peeking in on them.  

I pop my head in and start to scream my face off.  The bathroom floor was absolutely covered in water!  "Get out! NOW!" I yell at them.  By this point the husband, who has been home for only half an hour, is up the stairs.  The four of us are in the tiny bathroom with me attempting to dry the floor.  The husband took the boys to the big ones room and told the big one to put on his pjs. 

I finished wiping the floor and escape to our room to have a moment.  That moment when you are so physically exhausted and emotionally drained that you cant cry.  You know you should, but you cant.  You sit there numb. To everything.  Maximum plateau.  Not high, not low... Not crumpled in a ball or pacing back and forth... just face down, flat on the ground.  

The husband, "Marsh, where are bugs pjs?"  Me, "If there arent any there, there arent any."  R, "Are there any in the dryer?"  Me, "I have no clue."  R, "Are there any in the (clean) hamper next to you?"  Me, "I dont know." R, "Come on Marsh!"  Me, "Just put him in something else!".  R, "You know he's going to freak out!"  Me, "I dont care!"  

I needed silence.  I just wanted to lay face down numb.  9 f'ing p.m. on launch day off 4 hours sleep from the night before. 

R, "I know you are excited about this new business but we have to keep our priorities in line.  The kids need to be the priority."  

I have to assume that is why some women snap.  Im not talking about murder snap, but leave their husband kind of snap.  

The internal battle I was dealing with and complete dismissal from my husband was enough to make me feel my PMDD rage.  

Although my feelings were hurt that he didnt "get" the magnitude of everything, fortunately I was clear headed enough to see the situation for what it really was.  

For reasons I am uncomfortable sharing with anyone (husband included) I needed to launch the business on July 11.  The correlation of this recent July 11 and one from years ago needed to happen.  I cant explain it (even to myself yet), but because of how everything presented itself, I knew it had to be.  

My husband had no clue of the importance and necessity of that launch date because he wasnt privy to what was going on in my head.  

He also didn't know the amount of trips to stores (and online) to buy product, convos with many people concerning patents and pricing, time spent making the product, setting up emails and websites, organizing babysitters to attend a last minute photo shoot and business class, etc.  

He didnt see all the scrambling I did because he was at his job working his ass off.  In order for him to have 2 day weekends now (Wahoooo!) he has to work even more during the week (kill me...).  

Anyone who knows me personally knows that laundry is my thing.  I constantly do laundry.  It relaxes me.  

To not have clean pjs should give you an idea of the disarray of every other aspect of the house.

I wasnt ready for the launch.  I worked my ass off to get it done and it was premature.  I get that.  But it needed to be done.  And now the business is up and running buy it needs to be fine tuned.  

I keep telling my husband "I cant do it all" and it's irritating him.  I guess because "all" is vague and confusing.  

What I mean by "all" is: the kids, the wifing, the me time, the writing, the upkeep of the house, the product making, the business running.  

I get that he works hard so I can focus on the kids.  By all means their safe and well rounded upbringing means the absolute world to me, to us both.  Nothing will ever take precedence over our family.

With that said, things will be added to the mix because mamas got a new venture.   It makes me feel so good to be doing this new business building thing.  Almost as good as writing (I love you Bloggie!).

I know that it will be a crazy balancing act but I'm up for the challenge.    

As with anything in life, the first time we do something is the hardest.  Unchartered waters means lots of testing.  Trial and error.  What if scenarios followed by action to get it done.  Then taking what worked from that and applying more improvements.  

I firmly believe that coming up with systems that work can not only aid in the timeliness, but also the overall success of a process.  Im at the point where I have the finished product ready, its just trying to noodle through how to effectively get it done with spending less time.   

I have to figure out the logical steps to get the product purchased, created, processed and sold.  How to go from the fabric to the individualized fabric strips with the adornment, close up pictures, pictures of the product in action, uploading the pictures and creating the description, marketing it, turning a sale into the final product, packaging and mailing.  

It's a lot.  Since I know I cant do it "all" I have enlisted the help of a friends 12 yo daughter to watch the boys 3 hours a day for 3 days a week.  This way I can better manage my time.  Since I will be home the whole time, we have negotiated a very reasonable price (is babysitting fees a write off?).  

I'm so excited party people!  I cant tell you how much I needed this.  Although the past 8 days have been a whirlwind blur, I have never felt this accomplished, hopeful and excited before in my life!  

Let's do this thing!


Saturday, July 13, 2013


Dear NoVA,

Ive been a jerk and I would like to formally apologize.  

There have been many blog comments and mentions on Facebook by me that people shouldnt expect niceness from Northern Virginians.  That the pretentiousness and behaviors of entitlement should be an expected response when dealing with NoVA folk in general.  

That aint right.  I done you wrong.  

I did whole heartedly believe that the people in this area sucked.  Fortunately, my view has changed.  

In the past 6 weeks I have interacted with every walk of human being and it has been positive enough that I will stop trash talking you.  

Why do I generalize?  Again, that aint right!

NoVA, I would like to thank you for producing these experiences: 

From the teacher in line at Safeway talking to my boys about bringing her kids to the spray park, to the repair guys working next door getting up and walking over to me when I started to have a conversation with them.  The teenage boy who held the door open for me at 7-Eleven and responded "You're Welcome Ma'am" to my "thanks".  Good for you kid, you keep up those manners!  The homeless man that sits outside the store who always grins and says "Hi" when the 2 yo says "HI SANTA!!!".  The moms at the spray park who told me they werent done when I preemptively asked if they were leaving but then kindly waved me over when they did wrap up.  

Those were the strangers.  

On to relationships:

My sister, Aa, for being the initial MagnifiCuffs focus group and being emotionally and physically (or textually) present to share in every up and down with me.  

The more semi-formal focus group of ladies (and a couple guys) who all took time to provide feedback, encouragement and thoughts.  Absolutely taken aback by the outpouring of support!  

Julie Fischer McCarter of Shoot Photo Inc. (http://www.shootphotoinc.com) for the photo session on Wednesday.  I am in awe of your creativity and vision.  It was so rad to be in the presence of art being made.  Unbelievable experience!  Thank you so much for putting me at complete ease for the head shot portion (who knew I could be that awkward...dont anyone dare answer that!?). 

Cherry of UngcrediBOWS (http://www.etsy.com/shop/UngcrediBOWS) for lighting a creative spark in me that I had no idea was there.  Cherry has also been a huge eye opener when it comes to handling professional relationships.  Her heart and head are in this to the max and her positivity and sincerity serves as fuel and inspiration.  

Nicole at Tiny Steps Mommy (http://www.tinystepsmommy.com) for taking the initiative to make her dreams come true.  Also for sharing with her peers the thrilling excitement of these dreams unfolding as they happened.  I have never met or read a writer that keeps me as pulled in as her. 

Rebecca Geller of The Geller Law Group (http://www.thegellerlawgroup.com) for being a prime example of:  the more you give, the greater life gets.  Her class on the Legal Nuts and Bolts of Small Business was thoughtfully prepared to let any small business owner know the ins and outs of creating a legal entity and protecting yourself.  The very nominal fee for the class is given back to the business group that supports small businesses.  Rebecca followed her heart to go from a DC firm representing large firms (with large billable hours) to branch out on her own so she could support small businesses (with reasonable billable hours) and spend more time with her sons, who happen to be the same age as mine.  Rebecca's entrepreneurial spirit has attracted many NoVA momtrepeneurs and her firm is known within "our" community as "the lawyers to the moms".  Isnt there something magical about working with people who have been there, done that? Who know first hand the trials (not courtroom) and absolute felicity that comes from trusting themselves enough to go out on a limb.  

My darling Kelley, the founder of Femworking (http://www.femworking.com).  I look at her and wonder where my head was when I was her age.  Her spirit and enthusiasm are contagious.  She has an absolute realness that she exudes when you meet her that encourages you to bring your real self to the party.  Dont ever change, Kelley, you are a force!

So NoVA, thank you and Im sorry.  Thanks for bringing all these special peeps to light.  I will stop talking smack.  

P.S.  As stated in my mission, all thoughts are my own and no monetary or product compensation is accepted for these words.  

Thursday, July 11, 2013


Six weeks ago I met Dawn, the founder of The Crispy Sage, at a Femworking meetup.  Femworking is a biweekly networking group for DMV (DC, MD, VA) bloggers and entrepreneurs.

Dawn was the first at the table to introduce herself.  She told us she is a vegan chef who provides the service of teaching interested folks to prepare plant based meals in their own homes.  Do what!?!  I was hooked.  

Dawn is an amazing gal that is encouraging, inspirational, and knowledgeable in all things food and interwebs(!).  She knows a lot, and she shares it.  An aspiring entrepenuers dream come true for a friend and/or business associate.  
Today The Crispy Sage has my experiences with going vegan. Please enjoy!

Friday, July 5, 2013


Within 24 hours I went from a future Fortune 500 company owner back to same old Marcian.  

You know the saying that each snowflake is unique?  Well my idea, unlike a snowflake, was not unique.  

Yesterday, an hour before heading out to our friend's independence day bar-b-cue, I (and initially my husband) found very similar products to my prototype for sale on two different websites.  

While my creation is in essence the same as one on the two sites, theirs is shown used differently and comes in very limited styles.  My product is different because it is functional, but is geared to be more aesthetic because of the many varying styles.  

So where do I go from here?

I could still apply for a patent, since I believe my version is different enough, but why risk wasting money if there is a possibility that my specs fall under the parameters of the other 2 (at the very least) patents?  We all know my family isnt in a situation to risk wasting any money.

Also, if I am able to get a patent based on the limited differences, what keeps some other person from unknowingly getting a patent on another slightly modified product before this product becomes a well known item?

The purpose of my patent was to protect myself from a big corporation knocking it off and sending it to China to be made for pennies and shutting me out of business.

Like with my beautiful blog I wanted to have slow and steady growth.

Unlike this blogs mission to freely give of myself, I wanted to create a tangible item by hand and sell it to folks as a means to dress themselves up, and also have some function to it.  All while earning some monies to contribute to our family.  

I know I have no proof for you other than my word but I was planning to use American made product, in American factories with American workers.  

I was going to be the Shark Tanks investors worst nightmare, since the guy who had the truck pop up utility frame invention (I am still shaking my head that he didnt get backing).  Mr. Wonderful would say I was an idiot and dead to him, Robert (my blue eyed crush) would say the profits weren't there, Damon would say I had an ego to try to do it my way with no knowledge of the industry, but Laurie or Barbara...they would get me.  They would understand the vision.  And we would partner up.

Ok, enough of what was going to happen, we have to talk what will happen.  

Can I make the product and sell it?  I asked around at the party and no one knew the answer.  Then my beloved interwebs failed to provide a clear answer. 
Side note, all the girls that saw my prototype last night said they would definitely purchase it for themselves AND know moms who would buy it for their daughters.    

So what now party people?  

I assume if I contact the online store with the product most like mine and ask if I can sell my creations at the price point I already determined (which is 35% less than theirs go for) they will tell me to stick it where the sun dont shine.  But is that what is supposed to be done?  We make up some kind of license agreement?
Since I am no longer interested in spending the money to research a patent, am I still able to make the product?  Or would that be an infringement on the patents that already exist?  Is there any way to find that out without involving a lawyer?

The thought of making and selling this product on Etsy and at boutiques like I originally planned seems like it might be illegal.  The thought of being sued scares the bajoobs out of me.

Does anybody know the answer to these questions?

Monday, July 1, 2013


Today was supposed to be the first official meeting in regards to my new venture. 
Unfortunately I was abruptly reminded that no matter how important something is to me, when you add others to the mix, there will be disappointments.  
I have always been very realistic in a business sense. I know firsthand that there will road bumps, differing personalities and differences in opinion.  Those knowns aren't new to me. Today's experience, especially this early in the process, was definitely new to me.  

Unlike in previous roles where I have attempted to take control of everything, I know this is too big.  Attempting to navigate this all on my own is an impossible undertaking. 

So going forward, here is my hope list:

I hope to be able to handle each dismissal or disappointment with grace, humility and patience.

I hope to open my eyes and ears and keep my mouth shut, until the anger has dissolved. 

I hope to be able to truly believe that each experience is happening for a reason. 

I hope that each experience, whether it be positive or negative, be a useful learning experience. 

Lastly, I hope to trust my intuition in regards to people and advice.  

One positive thing about this first experience, nothing can top it (knock on wood!).  

Stick with me party people, this should be an entertaining ride.