Friday, April 19, 2013

TMI Fridays: Ninja Mom Blog

TMI Fridays: Ninja Mom Blog

I'm back with the popular series of TMI Fridays, where I grill other bloggers with wildly inappropriate thought-provoking questions in the style of "just chatting over a shared jug of moonshine". Today's victim is Nicole Leigh Shaw of Ninja Mom Blog. Like so many other successful love stories, Nicole and I met via the internet because of our mutual affiliation with the book, I Just Want to Pee Alone. I'm honored to be in a book with so many funny and skilled writers, and Nicole is one of my favorites with her essay titled "The Other Mommy War". 

I don't care what my mom says, the Internet is full of amazing people, and Nicole is one of the incredible ones. Plus, she's a Ninja, and Ninjas (Ninji?) are awesome.

If we ever meet in person, I envision our encounter involving a flowery meadow, an open armed running hug, a bottle of $9.99 wine, some hummus and Ross Perot.  

I talked with Nicole of Ninja Mom while she was on a daring combination of Vicadin and Antihistamines for “a cold” of some sort. I don’t know whether it was the drugs or her regular personality, but Ms. Shaw is truly funny and charming. We chatted for an hour and a half as if we had known each other for years. Like, we would totally be friends if she didn't live approximately 1,143 miles away from me. 

My favorite part of our conversation is that we chose a Sunday, when our husbands would be home to “watch” our carpet monkeys, thus allowing us a bit of time to focus while speaking. Ah, focus. How I miss you so.  To add emphasis, we even informed our husbands of this arrangement!  Yet, during our conversation, my unattended two year old fell off his tricycle, traumatizing him and causing me to run to the rescue. Later, Nicole’s three year old had a “bathroom emergency” on the kitchen floor, which Nicole mopped up while answering my probing questions.

Ahhh. Thanks husbands! You guys are neat!

Nicole is a busy mom of four, a Children’s Leader at Church and a self-proclaimed “Moralizer of the Mundane”. She has lived in a variety of places, including New Jersey, Boston, North Carolina, Georgia and Indiana. She has been writing for years, starting as a newspaper reporter and then a production editor for academic journals she was not qualified to look at, let alone edit. Glycobiology, anyone? She states that now she is “…finally the writer I wanted to be.”

Cornfed Note: Nicole has been known to "cuss" but,  because, "Hi Nicole's mother-in-law, aunts, uncles and anyone related to her by blood and marriage!" she chooses to do so only sparingly online. But she wants you to know that doesn't mean she's a douche-wienie.

Nicole is clearly a more caring person than I am, because here is what I have to say to my own family, "Hi everyone! I refuse to apologize for my crass ways. I like me just the way I am. I read Fifty Shades of Grey and the only thing that shocked me was the a millionaire couldn't operate a microwave without burning himself. I also like martinis with two, if not three, olives."

Moving on...

Johi: What made you want to become a writer and is that what you want to be when you grow up?

Nicole:  I originally wanted to be an artist, and by originally I mean age 5, but I couldn't do hands. I thought, never mind, this is hard. Hands suck. I knew that even at 5.

Later, I was always writing. During my high school career, I wrote some articles in the school literary magazine. One was a poem about suicide that included a reference to the Princess and the Pea and culminated in the line "I cut it out, I cut, I cut." I should mention I'd never been suicidal because I believed every sadness could be removed with a solid nap, so that was lame. But what little writing I did earned me a fan girl named Amy. It was nice to have the vote of confidence from someone. Thanks Amy! Naps not suicide!

Johi: How did you come up with “Ninja Mom”?

Nicole: I wanted it to be pithy. Now, I think it is trite. Ninjas were ‘in’ two years ago. I also wrote a Ninja Mom parody of the Spiderman song. It was my first post.

Johi: I still like ninjas. Sometimes I tell people I’m a Ninja. I’d take a Ninja over a zombie any day.
Have you always enjoyed making people laugh?

Nicole: Yes, definitely. I've always enjoyed making people laugh. I do love being an audience.

Johi: You have four kids, including a set of twins, which makes me wonder: what do you miss most about your pre-pregnancy body?

Nicole: I don’t remember it. I miss the memory of my pre-pregnancy body. I miss the opportunity to have taken naked pictures. Also, I liked being pregnant. I liked having that area filled out.

Johi: If you could have one perfect moment of your life to experience again, what would it be and why?

Nicole: My honeymoon in Barbados.

I feel badly that I am not picking the kids because the kids are great...

But in Barbados, my husband and I made a band of friends on the beach. I was being loud and chatty one morning while we were all lounging on the sand. A man, who was not in our group, singled me out and was angry at me for messing with his nap. I've always been self-conscious about the fact that I talk a lot, so he really upset me. I cried when he took off for a fresh drink.

My new husband came back in the meantime and as I slathered sunblock on him I told him what happened. Halfway through my story and the slathering, the mean guy came back. I pointed him out to my husband. My husband got in that guy's face, half covered in white sunblock, like a damn mental patient, and told that guy where to stick his drink umbrella. In that moment, every choice I'd made about my marriage and my future felt validated. I was hopeful… then I had to live with him. He never puts anything in the laundry.

Johi: It must be a man thing.
Hey, look at that! It’s GAME TIME!
Today, we are playing: Marry, *Dirty Tango* or Kill
Here are your choices: Danny DeVito, Joe Pesci, Vanilla Ice.

Nicole: This is terrible! Oh, I have to *gag* vomit. I have to think of this strategically.
Danny DeVito: Marry... before he and Rea Pearlman get back together.
Joe Pesci: Kill. Duh.
Vanilla Ice: I would time travel to 1994 or earlier and melt that Ice Ice Baby.

Johi: This was so much fun, let’s play another round! Your choices are: Hugh Heffner, Larry King and Ross Perot.


Hugh Heffner: I would marry him for the money and then he would probably buy me a nice body.
Larry King: Kill before he marries again.
Ross Perot: I'd hug him laying down. He is so sincere. I would ruin him.

Johi: What is your favorite of all time in these categories: Book, Movie, Band, TV show, Food, Drink and Curseword? Go.


Book: I've read Little Women more than any other book. It resonated every time.
Movie: I quote “Ghostbusters” all the time because my intellectual maturity stopped at 12.
Band: The Barenaked Ladies. "Yoko Ono" is my favorite feel good song.
TV Show: New Girl. I’m obsessed with Jake Johnson who plays Nick, the sloppy unaccomplished bartender. I would ruin him like I would Ross Perot.
Food: Beans. Hummus. Other beans. I have a healthy colon.
Drink: Any wine under $10.
Curseword: Offline I'll lay out my favorite curses you can't say on network television. But my new favorite pseudo-curse is "Aw, nutcracks!" It was invented by my 5-year-old, Beans.

Johi: What is your favorite essay in I Just Want to Pee Alone?

Nicole: "The Naked Starfish", written by Kim Bongiorno of Let Me Just Start By Saying. She is the best euphemizer and the Metaphor Queen, such as “Smacked in the cookie” and “the great divide”.

Johi: Is there anything else that you need to get off your chest?

Nicole: Unwanted hair. Oh, you weren't being literal? Never mind. I have nothing else.

Nicole's tagline on facebook is, "All of my kids are still breathing. Award please."

Read more of Nicole on her hilarious blog, Ninja Mom Blog. She writes for NickMom and Bonbon Break, among many other websites. You can also find her lurking around on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and of course in the best selling anthology I Just Want to Pee Alone.  

She does all of this while raising four kids under the age of 8 and maintaining her sense of humor, people...and I'm tired just typing out her accomplishments. She really DOES deserve an award. 


  1. I love that this book has brought together so many kindred spirits! You ladies kick major ass. Fo' real.

    1. I feel the same way, Tracy. I think you all are awesomesauce.

  2. Good lord this was fun. You're the bestest interviewer ever.

    I think I'll have to return the favor. But I want your answers as sketches.

    1. It was fun! I'm an idiot, but thank you for the compliment. For the record,I would totally participate in that.

  3. Shazam, that was another keeper!! So outrageous and fun. Loved every word of it.

    1. Why thank you, kind lady. I'll send Matt Damon right over with some ice cream.

  4. If only it was possible to interview Nicole every day always forever. This is full of awesome. Especially the part where she touts my genital metaphor skills. Not that I'm biased.

    1. Every time I do one of these it makes me want to meet you all in Vegas.

  5. I just woke up the baby laughing at this, got her back to sleep and started reading again because I figured, "There won't be another *literally* lol moment, what're the odds?" And then there was, and I woke the baby up again. FOUR MORE TIMES. So, thanks for the laughs, but warn me next time so I can read it earlier in the day. Serves me right, I should always expect multiple LOLs here. ;)

    1. Sorry about that whole waking the baby thing. Now I'm thinking about what your laugh sounds like. Is it a chortle or more of a bray? Is it a guffaw or a titter? Is it a delicate giggle or a brash HAW? And most importantly, do you ocassionally snort? Because I love me a good snorter. In fact, I'm a breathy silent laugher, punctuated by uncontrollable snorting.

  6. Is it weird I want to stalk her ans secretly harvest her awesomeness for mass production.... And world domination?

    Valerie Nunez and the Flying Platypi