The Shoes Have It....

Best kindergarten shoes ever?

Lilly Kelly's. Hands down.

However, the Dorothy shoes run a close second.

My advice to moms? Please let them wear what they want. It might be the last time they can come to school feeling and looking like a million bucks- and NOT be judged.

Plus, it warms the heart of the teacher. :-)


Black is the New Blue

I am going to be 50 in one week.

Yeah, I said it. FIFTY.

Now, I don’t really care if 50 is the new 40, or if 40 is the new 20, or if black is the new white and pink is the new orange. Frankly, I’m too tired to care.

A number is a number is a number. How do I feel inside? Great. I. feel. Great.

Am I worried? Am I nervous? Am I pissed? NO!

I am so damn thankful to still be on this planet, I am thinking of celebrating for a WEEK!!!!!

Or an hour. I will be 50, you know.

I was thinking of posting last year’s birthday post- but will link it instead.


Don't tell her....

Don't leave your blog unattended. You never know what might happen.


A Series of Unfortunate Events...

Dear Tightwad, (I mean the Blessed One…)

I thought I’d fill you in on all the fun things that have been happening here at home. While this working away from home during the week has done wonders for our, um, marriage stuff, it’s been a bit challenging doing the single parent thing. (Although my friends seem to think I’ve been doing it for years.)

First, the Golden Boy shattered the ceiling light in the stairwell that leads from the kitchen to the basement. It seems he really IS taller than the stairwell, and when he tripped towards the bottom his hand went up to catch himself and it shattered the huge bulb into a million pieces. I wasn’t home at the time, but after he realized he wasn’t hurt, he actually cleaned the mess up HIMSELF! With a SHOP-VAC! I still can’t believe it.

Second, Sassy began the week a scary, screaming, emotional wreck. I won’t go into the sordid details, but whatever you do, do NOT mention the letters PMS or look her in the eye. She’s finally back to normal and thanks to the mind-erasing machine she has built into her psyche, she doesn’t seem to remember treating us like crap all week. We’ve got about three weeks of peace until it starts again.

Third, my car died a smoky, screeching death in the center of town yesterday. Yeah, the university students are back. No, they haven’t finished the construction on the main street that goes through downtown. Standing by my car in the middle of that chaos while waiting for the tow truck was a treat. Did I mention it was raining yesterday? Did I?

Oh, and when you get home today, can you take Golden Boy aside and tell him it is NOT a good idea to try to show his mother the various places on his body where hair is growing. There are some things I DON’T need to see. Ever.

You probably won’t see me all weekend because I’m finally allowed in my classroom and will be working my *** off to put it back together. Wait, can I have your keys? I forgot - I’m vehicle-less.




Fare Thee Well...

The family at the heart of our country's Camelot has endured its share of heartbreak. My heart goes out to Ted Kennedy's wife, children and extended family members.

This is an amazing tribute to Ted. It's worth your time.

May he rest in peace.

Could someone lend me some earplugs?

Dear Sassy,

When you ask your mom if you can go stay at a friend’s house, and she says “No”, she might have a @%$*good reason.

Instead of unleashing a plethora of expletives (BITCH, for example…) and ranting around the house like a crazy lunatic, slamming doors, listing reasons why you hate your mother and why she is the WORST MOTHER EVER (yeah, nice try) and how she is BiPolar and crap, you might want to sit and discuss the matter like an adult.

Have we not discussed the “spoonful of sugar” strategy? Yeah, well, try it sometime.

(Jesus, couldn’t God just give me ONE bitchy?)

psst. I'm hiding from Sassy over here today....


We DO learn about Hieroglyphics in kindergarten..

Boys and girls, today at kindergarten show and tell we need to be very good listeners. Okay, Let’s get started.

Janie: This is my doll. She is my favorite and I sleep with her. I love her dress because it’s pink.

Caroline: This is my sister’s blanket. Don’t touch it though; it still has her boogers on it. (Notice the semi-colon people….are you impressed?)

Haley: This is my Barbie mermaid. I love her. I sleep with her. My mommy got her at Wal-mart.

Jack: This is my Bakogaon. It sticks to metal. I have a hundred of them at home. I got them at Wal-mart.

Jay-Han: This is my encyclopedia on Egyptology. It is extremely informative and it is my favorite thing to read. This photograph is of the Pyramids that are on the Nile River, the largest river in the world. The ancient Egyptians who constructed them used hieroglyphics to write on them. Also, if you were alive then you would NOT want to live in the pyramids, as they are extremely hot and uncomfortable. Any questions?


Me: ....Well..... thank you Professor Kim! That was amazingly informative. Next?

This is why I can't wait for school to start.



Boys are a Cheap Date....

School Supplies:

Bitchy (college): NEW bedding; big freaking pillow; many little baskets for all her crap; books that cost a million dollars; granola, crackers, apples and Luna bars so she can maintain her tiny figure; office supplies; ink for the printer, all shower and bathroom supplies; carpet; tons of other useless crap that princesses going to college might need.

Sassy (high school): Hollister Jeans and shirts; Abercrombie perfume; Victoria Secret underwear and other what-nots; notebooks; binders, pens, pencils; expensive calculator; shoes; jacket; every piece of varsity athletic sportswear on the team order form (I'm a SENIOR MOM, I need it ALL); LOTS of make-up.

The Golden Boy (sixth grade): A couple T-shirts and some shorts. And maybe some Axe.
(Who needs school supplies. He says he's got a pencil and a tablet somewhere.)

Mom: A BIG bottle of Advil; good sneakers; a case of diet pepsi from Sam’s Club, and A LARGE bottle of vodka.


Just be MEAN or something, would ya????

Dear Bitchy,

Can’t you and Sassy have a huge fight again? Can’t one of you try to strangle the other to death on the living room floor with the dogs barking and your brother crying?

Can’t you treat your brother like crap, throw something at him and make him cry like you used to?

And why don’t you scream at me and call me a f***%*# b*&@^# like the good old days? Sigh. Is that too much to ask?

When I opened your top drawer today to help you pack (I was NOT snooping) and I found that folder STUFFED FULL of all my columns, blog posts and articles? It made me cry. Again.

You do love me.

And now I have to send you off to college with that knowledge deep inside my heart.

It was MUCH easier when I thought you hated me.


I'm having coffee with my mother today...

My mother has been dead for 23 years. I can still see her standing in the kitchen talking to her sister on the phone. If I wait just a few seconds, I can also hear her laughing and laughing about something my Aunt Shirley said.

There are many things peppered around my house that remind me of her. I have the old hand crank coffee grinder that was found at a tag sale in Virginia; the tiny drawer at the bottom still holds that faint hint of coffee.

I have the old blue glass bottles in my window, the cookie tins in my kitchen, and other various knick-knacks around my home. They provide me with a sense of comfort.

Not long ago one of my aunts sent me a package, and inside were 6 post cards that my mother had sent her mother when we lived in Nice, France. (My father was stationed there while serving in the Navy Jag office.)

For some reason I can’t stop reading them, and some days I can actually hear her voice jump off the postcards. She has come back to life- if only briefly…

Dearest Mother – I have bought six of these lovely cards today and am going to write a continuous note on all- and mail them together and let me know if they arrive together. It’ll be fun to see! I thought there were so lovely – that you must have them.

I must start sending picture cards of France home – because before too long we’ll be leaving and I’ll regret not having done so. The other day I was in St. Jean and I sat and watched Princess Grace and her children having lunch with David Niven and his wife. It was exciting and she is beautiful. I have seen David Niven many times and followed him and his car home from St. Jean. Bob gets a laugh from the wive’s excitement at seeing a star. He’d probably be so, too – if he saw Brigette Bardot!

One of the navy ships is coming into the villa tomorrow and they have said they will do any repairs for us- which is nice of them. They are going to take or dry cleaning-four to a person.

K and D are so happy in school. They go off gaily – each morning – carrying their lunch pails. D has a Mickey Mouse pail – ad K has Quick Draw McGraw. Bob will enjoy that.

I have switched B. back to Pet Milk because of the bad rash that wouldn’t go away. Since last night it has started to clear and I’m feeling better. He is so cute and smiles now. We call him “Petite Mignon” which is something like teeny weeny one! Bob will be so surprised when he sees how much he’s grown, tho.

D and K have learned so much French from their little French girl friend “Josie”. And she has really helped me, too. It’s going to be fun to see how much of it they’ll remember when we get home.

Those sisters of yours are terrible and not worth wasting one’s breath on. – Bob always said he thought they were from outer space and that’s where they belong – maybe we should volunteer them for the next orbit- but to the moon!!!

Well, this is the last card – and what fun. I hope you can decipher them when you receive all six!!

Love and Kisses!


sigh. Someone pass me a tissue.


I don't even know what she was mad about...

Dear Bitchy,

Just a word of warning: your sister, Sassy, is waging an INCREDIBLE campaign to take over your name. Just when I thought 17 might be the perfect age, she decided to REMIND me about what 17 year-old girls are really like.

Also, I would recommend that you either start treating me like crap again, or wave goodbye to the name “Bitchy” that you earned AND wore so proudly these last four years. This lovely young woman who is ready to go back to college is SURELY an impostor.

Quick, help me hide Sassy’s car keys! She’s grounded for at LEAST a year after last night’s screaming rampage. (I promised myself not to look her in the eye. Why do I forget that?)

Love, (And I really mean it this time.)



No thanks, I don’t need change...

When you FINALLY find the old family butcher shop, tucked in the middle of NOWHERE, OREGON, there are just a couple of sights that might shock you.

It won’t be the many ANIMAL HIDES hanging from various rusty nails throughout the tiny cavernous windy rooms that the store inhabits.

It won’t be the smell of freshly butchered, um, cow – I hope. I couldn’t quite tell WHAT meat it was as I peered through the somewhat cloudy and overloaded meat case.

It won’t be the HUGE fella behind the counter with a blood stained apron and what looks like a huge MEAT CLEAVER in his hands.

It won’t even be the sign on a large hunk of what appeared to be pate that said “PUDDING MEAT”. (Now THAT was appealing.)

The biggest shock? When you ask for change for a $20 and the woman reaches deeply into her UNDERWEAR to find her wad of cash.

“Um, well, never mind! NO!! I didn’t really need any.”

And don’t let the screen door hit you as you RUN from the store, holding your precious jalapeƱo hot dogs.

Wait, is that dueling banjos I hear????


It's a nice day for a white wedding...

This is why I can't wait to go back to work...

My little friend Janie has been inviting kids to her wedding for about a week now. I decided it was time to have a class discussion, as it was happening during our whole group lessons on the carpet.

Me: "Janie, exactly what are you doing?"

Janie: "I am inviting people to my wedding to Johnny."

Me: "But, I thought you were marrying Jack."

Jack: "I decided I didn’t want to get married."

Me: "Good thinking, Jack. Now, Janie, back to the wedding, you DO know that we are not supposed to get married in kindergarten, right?"

Janie: "Well, my mom and dad got married when they were 3 and 2 years old."

Me: "I don’t think that was when the REAL wedding took place. But, you go ahead and ask them about that tonight."

Janie: "Actually, I am marrying Johnny AND Jack."

Me: Well, unless you live in Utah or Texas, I don’t think you can legally do that. "

Johnny: "HEY- Jack and I are making a run for it!"

Cassie: "And, another thing, Janie was kissing the wall…"

Sally: "She was practicing."

Me: "Listen carefully boys and girls. ONE – there are to be no weddings in kindergarten. TWO – there is no kissing in kindergarten. THREE – well, I can’t remember, but I’m sure I’ll think of a number three shortly.

Okay, now what were we learning about?"


Mice in her hair???

I've been working on my column for this month, and often look back at old columns for a chuckle. Remember that piece on the school nurse? I am still laughing at that. Here are the "gems".

My little Bruce wanted to go to the nurse, and when I told him that he really didn’t LOOK sick, he was adamant. So, against my better judgment, I took him.

Nurse: “So Bruce, what hurts?”

“Every time I blow my nose my ear hurts.”

“Well, how long has this been going on?” the nurse asked.

“Um, let’s see, about 52 weeks. Since 2007 at least.”

And with that, I gently took his hand, smiled at the nurse and marched him back to class.

After deciding that I HAD to do a piece on school nurses, here are some chuckles sent to me by my friends...

“My ear hurts when I burp.”

“My lips are tired.”

“I’m leaking plasma.”

“I have a hernia in my knee.”

“I think my sister has the weasels.”

“My right eye is blinking.”

“Somebody Fwode up and it made me sick.”

“I had a crustacean on my eye.”

“I had to see the eye optimist.”

“My sister has mice in her hair.”

Then, my little John had gone to the nurse complaining of being "gassy".

The nurse asked him when his last bowel movement was. He said "Umm, when I was about 3.”

I can't wait to get back to work......


It's the most wonderful time of the year....

Sniff. Sniff. Can you smell it? You know what I mean. That smell is here; the smell of new pencils, new books, new crayons and markers, the smell of new shoes, new clothes, and a new backpack and you know what that means. School is in the air! Perhaps the biggest sign that school is right around the corner is the buzz that is flying around the pool, in the supermarket and at your local fall sporting practices. Who will get the Best Teacher of All? Who will be the lucky kids to get in the Best Teacher of All’s class?

Remember on Mary Poppins, when Jane and Michael wrote a letter and asked for the perfect nanny? The father was stunned when Mary Poppins handed him the list that he had thrown into the fire. It went something like this:

(Start humming…) “If you want this choice position, have a cheery disposition; rosy cheeks, no warts; play games, all sorts. You must be kind, you must be witty, very sweet and very pretty; take us on outings, give us treats, sing songs, bring sweets.”

That’s what keeps going through my mind at this time of year. That super duper wish list. The wish list each parent and child has. Here’s what I think the wish list is for the perfect teacher. Wanted: teacher; must be sweet, even-tempered, hip, funny, pretty, smart, young, experienced and energetic. Must never yell, get mad, throw things or lose her temper. Must be very patient, wear stylish clothes, have a lovely laugh and smell like fresh baked cookies.

So, basically, that would count me out. (And, perhaps, everyone I know.)

While we teachers may not all be young or hip or very tall, there are some things we have in common. We are committed to our jobs and to your kids. These are some of the things we can promise you. We will get to know your child inside and out; we will learn about his pets, his siblings, his likes and dislikes and will always notice when he gets a hair cut. We will push him to be independent, self-sufficient, confident and responsible. We will help guide him when things don’t go his way and will laugh with him (and applaud) when they do. We will push him until he reaches the potential that we know he has, and we will be there when he falls, to pick him back up, dust him off and start him back up that hill. That’s our job, and that’s what we love to do.

Contrary to what my kindergarteners recommended to our student intern, we will not be teaching kickboxing, having cinema time every day; they cannot ride mechanical bulls in class, skateboard off the roof (with kneepads, of course) and we will not buy them happy meals for lunch once a week. (I gotta give them credit for trying, however.)

As a mom, I’ve learned that often the teachers who work with my child every day know more about what is a good match for him than I do. I have learned that it is important for me to keep my mouth shut on some occasions and it is equally important to voice my concerns at others. I have learned that a teacher that was not the best match for Mrs. Jones’ son (that darned Mrs. Jones—always so hard to keep up with), was the perfect teacher for my son.

Yeah, we teachers don’t all look alike. Some of us are tall, short, skinny, chunky, old, young, and black and white. However, we all love kids and want what is best for these young souls. So please; trust us, respect us and join us in making this the Best Year Ever for your child. One more thing - beware the buzz at the pool. Sometimes that bee will come right back and sting ya.

(This was something I did last summer. Hope you enjoyed it...and here's the Crystal Light update- Bitchy is kicking my ***)


Are those really my apples????

I am home from my trip, and have been searching high and low for any signs of questionable activity from the girls.

I have found none.

However, I remember when MY parents left my sister and ME alone for a weekend.

We had a huge party.

With a band.

In the living room.

All Weekend.

Yeah. I’m gonna continue this search. I KNOW the apples don’t fall far from the tree.

(Crystal Light update...)


I turned my back for a MINUTE, and you became a swan...

Dear Sassy,

Please excuse me for a minute while I catch my breath, my heart seems to have stopped working. I guess I wasn’t prepared for what my heart would feel when I watched you laugh and pose for your senior portraits.

Do you know what I saw?

I saw the young girl who kept her naked Barbies in the fridge.

I saw the girl who for two weeks went to preschool looking like a smurff after her sister colored her from head to toe with a blue permanent marker.

I saw the girl who rolled and flipped and rolled down a huge flight of steps in our old house, and then popped up and ran outside to join the boys playing in the mud in the yard.

I saw the girl who jumped off her top bunk, ripped her knee wide open and ended up with a huge smiley face stitched under her kneecap.

I see the girl who held her sister down in a chokehold after seeing her wearing your pants not TOO long ago.

But you know what the camera saw?

A beautiful young woman about to embark on the greatest adventure of all: her life.

May the angels travel with you; I know my heart will.

(My Crystal Light Water update...I am driving Bitchy insane...)


Wait, what IS your name???

Yes, I am still on my sister vacation. However, I wanted to share the two (important) text messages I received from Bitchy yesterday. You will NOT believe it. (I think perhaps it's invasion of the body snatchers, or something... ) Here they are:

"The dog misses you very much. "

"and so do I."

Someone get out the smelling salts and call missing persons.

(Check out the Crystal Light Challenge. I am in the bathroom 24/7)


Guest Post

Pssst. V-mom is on a "sister vacation" and while the cat's away, and all that..oh, and go see her Crystal Light Challenge!.

Introductions first...It's Nap Warden (Vodka Moms blog designer) I have a story I've been burning to tell, and I can't do it on my blog:P You know...family reads the blog...my potential sister in law will eventually find the blog...blah, blah, blah...Vodka Mom (saint that she is) offered to let me tell my story here (and it's crazy!)

Oh...first things first...Yes, now you can say that you've seen it (Vodka Mom, I was gonna get this image on your site one way or another) this is the first image I did for Vodka Mom's new look (yes, I drew it). I feel complete now that's it's at least in a post;)

Anyway...I'm gonna try to nutshell my story. I have a Bro, he's 43. For the last 6 years, he has lived with the same girl. I never particularly dug her. Basically she is a box of wine, with a carton of cigarettes on the side. Not to terribly social...and not really very much fun:(

So...Bro works the Beijing Olympics. While he's there, he meets a girl. She's from Honk Kong, but works and lives in Mainland China. They start a little Skype relationship. About 6 months ago, the bro dumps box of wine girl. Now he's free for long distance relationship with China Girl. (Yes, I have been singing China Girl by David Bowie for months now at him...it's what little sisters do, right?)

Well (and keep in mind, they have spent maybe a total of 4 weeks on the same continent) Friday, the Bro got on a plane, with a ring, and hauled off across the world to propose!

Let me back up for a second...I don't want to be bitter cat here. Really, I don't. I'm basically a sap. I want to believe in love at first sight, romance, and all that goes along with it. That said, there's some flags in this story that leave me wondering wtf!

First, there's this whole religion thing. I have no problem with religion. We are a Catholic Italian family (wayward Catholics to be exact). She is a Christian, heavy duty Christian. I have never met or talked to her...but my friends have told me (along with my Mom and Dad) they have checked out her Facebook Page...and she's all "praise Jesus this, and Jesus saves that"...total God Girl. I wonder, is this an issue? The Bro tends to live his life in complete denial...is he just looking the other way on this topic?

Second, I don't want to get too deep into this...but they haven't ever had, you know "coffee". This goes back to the religion thing (she does not believe in coffee before marriage). Is it me...it's kinda weird to marry someone you've never had, um, coffee with...right?

Third, the Bro has always said he didn't want kiddos. Truth be told, he's a really selfish guy. He's spent the last 43 years having the world revolve around him. So, I asked him "does China Girl want kiddos?" (she is 36, btw) He said "Yes, she wants kiddos, but there's no urgency there."

What!?! As a woman who waited 'til her late 30's to have kiddos, I can tell you...a single woman of 36 who wants kiddos...there's nothing BUT urgency!

Right now, the Bro is far far away, getting engaged. I'm not really quite sure how I feel about this? It kinda bugs me that I've never met her, spoken to her, been friended on Facebook...

The day before he left, I had lunch with him and asked him if he thought he might be rushing things a bit...He said "I've waited 43 years to get married." OK...what does that mean? Is this girl Mrs. Right, or has he decided he has to get married right now?

Bottom line...I want to be happy for my big Bro. Sad thing is...there's a piece of me that thinks he's making a HUGE mistake. Is the best thing I can do, just being there for him if this whole thing blows up in his face? Crazy...right?


Late Night Visit

I had a visit from my grandmother last night. Now, this might not be unusual for most people, but my grandmother has been dead for about 10 years now. As many of you know, my parents also died many years ago. (This is important to know for the story.) My parents have come to me many times over the years – in my dreams. They never appear together, and come to me at times when I am in great need of comfort. I am always surprised by these visits, but very, very touched.

Last night I saw my grandmother. I was walking through my school, and as I rounded the corner I bumped into her. This was our conversation.

“Baba, HI! What are YOU doing here?” I hugged her very, very hard.

“Well, I just wanted to see you. I want you to know how much I love your column. I read it all the time. Please, can you tell me a funny story? Tell me a funny story right now.”

And so, I proceeded to tell her a funny story. In the middle of the story she started crying. Tears were streaming down her face as she intently looked at me.

“Baba, why are you crying? “ I asked.

“Honey, I just miss you so much.”

Then I woke up.

Now, I’m the one who is crying. Again.

(I had to slip this one back in. It's dear to my heart.....)

I'd like an up-do.

Want a sure-fire way to distract the restaurant patrons at the Clyde's restuarant away from the excess "junk in your trunk"?

Ride in the back seat of your sister-in-law's Audi convertible at the SPEED OF LIGHT with the top and all the windows down. The Aussie Feeze spray you use will also guarantee that your new "do" will last through dinner and dessert.

I coulda used that on crazy hair day.


Another excerpt from the "Lost" files...

I remember about 5 years ago, there were two other teachers in our building who had teenage daughters – young teenage daughters. We spent many emotional, tear-filled mornings in the teacher’s lounge describing tales of horror from either the previous night, or that morning. It was during that time we discovered that we were NOT the only moms who yelled, screamed, threw things, and were screamed at in return. After comparing notes, we felt almost NORMAL. It was then we decided that the only way we were going to live through this emotional period was to laugh about it. (Humor is the only way to go, right?) Someone had a little apple pin in their desk (another Christmas gift put to good use) and we agreed that it would be the “Mother of the Year” pin. So, on many mornings when we would come to school, one of us would inevitably come running into one of our rooms yelling, “Where’s the pin? Where’s the pin? I’m the Mother of the Year today!!” It truly helped us through some heart-wrenching years. Now, if you feel you are in the running to be a member of the club, pay close attention.

You, too, can be a “Mother (or father) of the Year” if you have been involved in some of the following:

1. If you’ve dragged your teenager to the bathroom by her hair in order to shove soap in her mouth.

2. If you’ve sent your daughter to school without money or appropriate clothing for a field trip.

3. If you’ve driven to a slumber party in the middle of the night to pick up a mortified teenager.

4. If you’ve driven to Smith Mountain in a snowstorm, climbed through trails in the woods to pluck your mortified daughter from a tent filled with partying teens.

5. If you’ve called parents after a sleepover to inform them of a late night sneak-out gone wrong.

6. If you’ve denied your child the privilege of going to a party that “everyone else” is going to

.7. If, in a moment of anger, you’ve thrown a cell phone to the floor only to have it disintegrate in front of your eyes.

8. If you’ve sent your child to school after a screaming match that’s lasted at LEAST 10 minutes.

9. If you have answered the door after being woken up at 3 am only to find a pizza man there but not the 5 girls who ordered the pizza. (They intended to beat him home :-) )

10. If you have checked the mileage on the car before and after a "trip to the high school to pick up a forgotten homework assignment."

11. If one of your teenager’s friend’s mother calls you at midnight and asks to speak to her daughter only to have you say, "Why no, Jane, the girls are at YOUR house."

12. If you have turned off you cell phone during an important meeting out of town only to turn it back on and see 15 missed messages--all from home. (Have a drink before you call back! Chances are your daughter was suspended for a slight misunderstanding.)

13. If you’ve had moments when you don’t actually like your child. (Even though we know you LOVE them…)

Mothers (and fathers) be assured; this too shall pass. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. The only problem is, when you have more than one child, and you think you see the light, there’s a force that YANKS you back in. Now, where is that pin???

(I am on a "sister" vacation until next week, so sorry I haven't been able to visit. I'll make it up to you somehow! :-) I'm also working on a project. Shhh, you didn't hear anything from me. )


Yes, it's one more post about BlogHer. Sue me.

Things I learned at the BlogHer conference; in no particular order. (Ahem, is that a semi-colon?)

1. You can NEVER have enough business cards. You will be passing them out on the plane, in the lobby of the hotel, the elevator, bathroom, lunchroom, at the sessions, exhibits and parties. The cards are of various shapes and sizes, and have avatars on them, pictures, and others are tied to packages of candy kisses or stationary. They are very clever and cool at the same time! (Pssst, you can get free business cards at Vista.com .)

2. You will meet far too many people to remember everyone. I tried to go through my cards each evening to try to imprint images on my brain.

3. When someone else pays for your conference AND your room, you are more likely to force yourself to go to every session and stay involved in as many activities as possible. You will not allow yourself to waste one minute of the day

4. When attending sessions, make sure you arrive at least 15 minutes before the session begins, or you will have to stand in the corner or sit on someone’s lap. If you have a question, don’t hesitate to stand up and say your name AND the name of your blog. When the audience erupts in applause and cheers, it just might be one of the HIGHLIGHTS OF YOUR LIFE. I still get chills thinking about it.

5. After you find out that you DO have a ticket to the conference, find out when and where all the parties are. Then, SIGN UP RIGHT AWAY. Apparently, many of the parties will only allow you in if you are on the “guest” list. AND, when Stiletto Mom invites you to a PRIVATE PARTY on a rooftop in Chicago, don’t HESITATE to go. You might just meet several FAMOUS authors and bloggers and one very cool (and CUTE) dude who sings. His name might be Chris Mann.

6. If you DO manage to sign up for a couple of parties, make sure you are one of the FIRST ones there so that you can get the good “swag” bags. (Apparently some people received Kodak video cameras. I can’t even think about it.)

7. There IS such a thing as too much swag.

8. Even if some amazing blog followers take up a collection and give you money to spend at the conference, you will still swipe Sweet and Low, honey and jelly packets from the coffee shops in the lobby, the Chicago Airport and the Oregon Airport.

9. Inevitably, if some amazing blog followers take up a collection and give you money to spend at the conference, when you get home your washing machine will die a HORRIBLE death, and you will spend what’s left of that money on a new one. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

10. There ARE angels in the world. And some of them blog.


He did NOT say what I THINK he said. Did he?

A woman drove her missing husband’s F150 Ford pickup truck through a local health club today in Smith, Oregon, brutally killing a young, hot trainer at the desk.

It was later determined that said trainer had inadvertently asked the woman if she had grandkids.

There are no real leads in the case because many of the older women at the club at the time are claiming “amnesia”. However, detectives noted a faint scent of VODKA at the scene.

(He totally deserved it.)


I know you don't mean it when you call me a *@$#*

Dear Sassy,

Remember on Sunday when we were in the kitchen, and you made me laugh so hard when I was seriously trying to learn the top ten tricks anorexics use to lose weight?

You took out a shot glass and were going to give me a shot of hot sauce…remember how we both laughed so hard we almost peed our pants? Each time we looked at each other we laughed and laughed and laughed.

That brief shining moment reminded me of what an incredible gift you are. And even when you scream at me at the top of your lungs, and SAY you hate me more than anything else in the world, I know deep down in my heart… that you don’t.

Thanks for the reminder.

(I am spending time with my kids at the Smithfield County Fair; no internet, and lots of colorful folks. )


Boys Stink (From the Lost Files...)

A while ago I received an award from my good friend the Captain. (And when I say a while ago, I mean a WHILE ago...) I was supposed to list things I’ve learned about boys, tag people who have boys or something along those lines. Okay, here we go:

1. Boys stink. (P.U.) I am NOT kidding you. I don’t care how many showers they take, how much Old Spice Spray they spray on (Me: “Golden Boy, you’re supposed to spray that UNDER your arms, not on your neck and behind your ears. Do NOT listen to your sisters…” ) or how much Axe they use; by the end of the day they still STINK. Do not open the door to my boy's bedroom unless you are wearing a gas mask.

2. Boys break all your *&@$. Golden Boy breaks everything he gets his hands on. That’s all I can say. And, as I sat here typing this, he broke a candleholder that was on top of the television and it shattered on the floor into a MILLION pieces. He’s shop-vacing it up as we speak.

3. Boys like to take things apart. Every *@&@ toy GB has ever owned has been taken apart. He’s taken apart his race cars, remote-controlled toys, his bikes, his skateboard, our toilet, his sister's cd player and my life-sized snowman. When he turned 8, he was able to put some of them back together. Luckily I put most of these items into Ziploc baggies in the hopes that SOMEDAY he might want to do that. (I'm not usually so brilliant. I must have been tipsy.)

4. Boys EAT ALL THE TIME. (He's grown an INCH AND A HALF since January. Is that normal? He just turned ELEVEN and is 5'3" and 140 pounds...) I simply cannot afford to feed him AND the boys from the trailer park down the road that show up to play in our backyard. Oh, all right, but just because they are so darn cute.

5. Boys are LOUD. cheeze-us. (I get just as annoyed as his teacher, except I'M allowed to tell him to shut up.)

6. Boys CANNOT keep their hands to themselves. They are constantly tapping, drumming, knocking on something, bouncing something, tackling someone and basically DRIVING their mothers, teachers and sisters MAD. (Dad's don't give a crap. I wonder why that is.)

I am tagging anyone who has boys.

So, here's what you need to do:

1. Holla at your boy...... (I've been waiting to say that since Project Runway ended...)

2. March their butts into the bathroom and show them how to put up the seat. And oh my God, have them wipe it off, first.

3. Find ONE shirt that doesn't have a stain on it.

4. Have them locate their shoes, take them to the laundry room and SOAK them in some kind of strong crap that will take out that smell.

5. Hug them very, very tightly, because THAT is the child that will never call you a f*@&*ing b*&@$.


It was an honest question

I did have a really funny little boy this year. (He was five most of the year.) He was like a grown man in a little boy's body.

One day he was scratching his "private area" outside of his pants- thank goodness! My para asked, "Do you need to go to the bathroom?"

He replied, "No, can't a man have an itch?"