How To Deal With A Teacher You Or Your Child Can't Stand

When our oldest son, who turns 20 in a few weeks, was in elementary school, we were asked to fill out a form at the end of each year, indicating which teacher we wanted him to have for the next school year.

There were other questions on the form, too, where you could give more information about your kid’s personality and their learning style, which the committee would take into consideration when setting class rosters.

They might still do this. I’m not sure.

It’s a nice gesture toward the parents, and I’m sure the school administrators found it helpful when they were putting the classes together.  

I remember that early each school year, there would be rumblings from parents who didn’t get the teacher they put as their first choice. And sometimes they wouldn’t get their second or third choice, either.

Aah, the things we get riled up about. 🤷‍

When Your Favorite Things Turn Into Bad Habits

One of my favorite things about myself is my sense of humor. Not to be braggy, but I’m one of the funniest people I’ve ever met.

Nothing makes me want to smother a cigar under my heel and strut off like Kate Moss down the runway more than laying out a funny one-liner that makes people throw their head back laughing.

I’ve always taken great pride in being able to laugh things off, even in times of sadness and stress.

Even during the cycles of depression I’ve experienced in my life, humor was there, although it wasn’t as accessible to me as it is when I’m out of the funk.

The Dangerous Mindset That Throws Us Off Pace

Part of our morning routine on school days is for Cody to tell me, “But we’re not late - we’ve left way later than this before,” when I tell him he needs to get moving so we’ll be on time for school.

I’ve tried explaining to him that we might not be late at that very second, but that if he keeps the pace he’s currently keeping - slow AF - we’ll most definitely be late.

Getting him to understand that he’s still got eight more steps in the 10 steps it takes to get out the door in the morning, requires a degree in childhood development that reaches far beyond the likes of my wildly average parenting.

I get it, though.

I’m basically a living example of how my life has played out with this very same mindset.

The mindset that says, “I don’t need to get started right now. Things aren’t that bad.”

How to Get Your Kids The Help They Need At School

When my youngest son, who’s now in fifth grade, was in first grade, we already saw the signs of a child with ADHD. He didn’t have hyperactivity or behavior issues sometimes associated with ADHD, but he couldn’t focus for shit.

We had parent-teacher conferences, I sent many unanswered emails to the teacher, and time after time, we found that she was lumping him in with all the other students, and completely overlooking the specific educational needs of my son.

I wasn’t asking her for an effing kidney. I just wanted her to consider for just one flipping minute that my son wasn’t learning the way she was teaching.

I have a very strong opinion on this, by the way.

A Funny One To Follow: Kat Depner of Seven Styling

You know how when you meet someone you instantly click with, and you find them so adorably charming that you fantasize being bff’s and having slumber parties together and brushing each other’s hair into the wee hours?

I found someone like that.

Her name is Kat Depner of Seven Styling, a personal stylist and blogger from Portland, Oregon.

4 Lessons From Hosting A Classroom Party (or, How To Have Your Room Mom Of The Year Award Revoked)

Remember a few weeks ago when I told you how to win the Room Mom of the Year Award?  I didn’t want to just write about the craft that would help you win the award, I also did the craft myself, because what kind of person would I be if I just claimed I was sharing the magic recipe for Room Mom success, without even trying it for myself to make sure?

I want to take this moment to update you on the craft, the party, and about that day in general, so you’ll know how it all went down.  

Let me start by saying that a few days prior to the party, things were right on schedule and everything was coming together as planned.  

Community in Crisis Over Child Walking Home From Bus Stop Carrying Elf With Bare Hands

Trouble continues in a local neighborhood, where a mother is accused of allowing her daughter to walk down the street carrying her elf with bare hands in front of all the other children.

It all began last week when the incoming-text-notifications of eight moms’ phones and that of one stay-at-home-dad rang out simultaneously from an angry group text, initiated by Kayla’s mom, Patricia, stating that “FYI, the kids just got off the bus and there’s a little girl walking in the middle of the pack, carrying her elf. IN HER HAND, right out in the open where all the kids can see.”

A flurry of texts ensued, with everyone trying to figure out “who the hell is it?” and causing a data bottleneck that ultimately knocked out the nearby cell tower.

“We all suspected that it was that one lady’s bratty daughter,” one mother said, “because that woman always gives in to her child, and sure enough, my neighbor texted to confirm it after pulling out her binoculars.”

Super-fun Craft You Can Do Today To Win Room Mom of the Year Award

There’s not really a Room Mom of the Year award.  At least, there isn’t at my kid’s school.  And if there were, I promise you I wouldn’t win it.  

The only thing I’m going to win is a shiny trophy for cutting corners.  

Because that’s what I’m best at.  People don’t know that, though.  

Every year (except last year, because I was overwhelmed and shirked most of my duties as co-room-parent, but thankfully my counterpart was kind enough to let me off the hook, and my son is oblivious, so he still thought I was doing everything for his class, making it a double-win for me) I come up with a craft for the class Christmas party, and every year people think the craft is soooo cute and so hard and complicated.

Y’all.  I don’t do things if they’re hard.  

Risking Embarrassment Worse Than Spinach Teeth To Keep The Important Things From Being Left Unsaid

Most of my professional life was spent in the advertising industry. Almost 25 years, in fact.

There are a lot of weird people in the ad industry.

As a tender little sapling in “the biz,” I always worked for the wackiest of wack jobs and had the most bizarre experiences.

It’s one of the reasons my college BFF, Jen, who - over the phone, when I’d steal a moment of privacy behind the dark, closed door of a utility closet, I would whisper the latest “story you’re not gonna believe,” she would say to me, through tears of laughter and shock, “Oh my God, did you write this down? You have got to write a book someday - you couldn’t make this stuff up!”

Incidentally, it’s the reason I named my funny memoir, “You Should Write A Book, True Tales Of An Unstable Life.”

Then I found a job where I felt like people were normal.

4 Things We Don’t Do Anymore

About 18 months ago, when we decided to put our house on the market, we had already found the new house we wanted to buy, so we had to get our old house staged as quick as little bunnies to get it listed and sold in an effort to not carry two mortgages.

The plan was that, while we were packing up stuff to clear the house out and make it look the exact opposite of how my family lives in real life, instead of culling out stuff to donate or trash at that time - which is stupidly time-consuming, but is what people have to do if they don’t want to MOVE THINGS TWICE, like a bunch of idiots - we would just have to chunk everything into storage and deal with it on the back end, after moving to the new house.

Sigh.

9 Gift Ideas To Keep You From Being A Generic Gift-Giving A-Hole

This cold snap has finally gotten me convinced that it’s holiday time and I’m currently sitting in my big chair with my readers on, a spiral notebook in my lap, dabbing my fountain pen - the one with the long feather - on my tongue, readying it for a flurry of gifts I plan to jot into a list.

Actually, **shuffling through the pages** I’m on my third page and it looks like I’ve only listed things I want, but I’m getting to everyone else here in a sec.

You know how when you’re out in public and you run into someone you know and they’re wearing the same shirt you just saw some other lady wearing, and then when you’re in the checkout line, you notice the checkout lady is wearing that same shirt?

Borrrrinnnnggg.

I’m not giving out that kind of generic b.s. this year.

I love giving people gifts that are unique so they don’t feel like you’ve just filled their name in on a form letter that could have been sent to anyone.

I’ve put together a gift guide of creative and custom gifts so you can make sure your gift-giving is met with all the heart-eye-emojis this year, and they all start less than $50, so you’ll have room in the budget to grab things for the sexiest person on your list: yourself.

Why The Texas Conference For Women Is My Most Favorite Event Of The Year

This was my fifth time covering the Texas Conference for Women on Bring Mommy A Martini, thanks to the suggestion of my good friend and savvy press hotshot, Travis Baker, the Austin Metro Publisher at Community Impact.

“See if you can get press credentials,” he said matter-of-factly to me while we had coffee one morning when I was whining about how I wanted to go to the Conference, to which I responded, with a crumb of muffin in the corner of my mouth, “Wait, you can do that?”

I was just a tiny baby blogger at that time, so I didn’t know all the ins and outs of this blogging world just yet.

I’m a grownup blogger, now, kicked back at my desk all Ron Burgundy, writing about very important things and looking like a boss while I do it.

3 Of My Biggest Regrets In Life

I remember it like it was yesterday. The initial shock at what I saw, and the horrific realization as all the pieces started to click into place, sending me through the various stages of panic: first the pins-and-needles tingling in my fingers and toes as adrenaline shot through my veins.

Then the questions I’d ask myself about what I was seeing before me.

And what it meant.

Then the inevitable, “no, no, no… God no.”

But, alas… yes.

I gagged a little and wiped my mouth, swallowing down the disgust welling up inside me.

5 Tips For Starting Out (Or Starting Over) In An Online Career

This weekend I got to participate in a panel of social influencers for the 2018 MediaCon, a day of workshops and speakers geared toward college students pursuing a career in the media industry.

Who’da thought that my tiny baby following would position me as any kind of influencer?

The great thing about my following - you - is that you’re a highly engaged bunch, emailing me often to ask about products I’ve mentioned, or to share your comments on something I’ve shared.

That’s what an influencer is.

Still, I was like an orange surrounded by a handful of shiny, red apples up there on that panel.

A Quick Peek At The Rustic Side Of Our Multi-Purpose Room

You know how I’ve been working like little Cinderella on my IKEA faux built-ins upstairs, which is sort-of a catch-all room that I’m trying to make look like it’s not a catch-all room.

It’s the only room we have upstairs (along with its bathroom) and it’s a perfect place to send the kids to play their video games, and it’s where my desk is so that I can get uninterrupted work done. **Note: I have not shared that part of the room with you, yet, because it currently has piles of books I don’t want to part with, but need to, and other things that “I need to go through”  🙄

In the coming weeks, after I get my life together*, I will share the entire room with you, but for now it’s still under construction.

1940's Dining Table Gets New Life As My Game Table

You know how you can admire someone so much because they are just perfect in every single way, and you love them so much that you’re actually disgusted by them at the exact same time as being in love with them?

Like you follow them on Instagram and they post something amazing (as usual) and you get irritated and say, “Dammit” sort-of under your breath, annoyed at their perfection and also annoyed that now you have to spend your time copying their incredible fall centerpiece or autumnal mantle setup because all you want in life is to become that person?

My 2nd Biggest Fear In Life (also: Cooking With Cody, October Edition)

My second biggest fear in life is getting hit by a bus, leaving my children without having taught them all the lessons they’ll need to function in life, because I can tell you that if they had to do it on their own starting today, they don’t stand a chance in hell.

I should mention that one of those children I’m referring to isn’t even a child, anymore. He’s almost 20. A grown-ass man.

He’s a good guy and all. Kind and sensitive. Super smart. Funnier than shit.

But lazy af.

We’re buckling down a little more on this second kid, just to see what happens.

In Defense Of The Good Girl

Since when did it become a bad thing to be a good girl? Long gone are the days of Donna Reed and Leave it to Beaver, but is it too much to hope that there is still value in being wholesome?

“Mommy, I think you’re more innocent than I am,” my 13 year old daughter said one evening, as we were just starting out to walk the dog.

This is not the first time I’ve heard this kind of talk. Even my spouse says that I should like to have more fun.

Is it my fault that our versions of “fun” are wildly different? Or is there something I’m missing?

An Outrageous Claim

Signing up for classes is a bad habit I need to probably cut off like a moldy chunk of cheddar cheese, but I’m obsessed with learning stuff and I justify the expense by filing it under “Self Improvement,” even though it would be cheaper to just "improve myself” by eating less and moving more. 🤷‍

If you get my emails, you saw that in yesterday’s I told you to get ready for the best blogging resource offer of the year, and now I’m unveiling that bold, beautiful claim right before your eyes.

I know it’s a bold claim, but I don’t give out recommendations just willy nilly.

I only recommend things when I’ve tried and loved them myself, and that is exactly the case on (affiliate link —>) The Genius Blogger’s Toolkit, and I should know, because I bought it, I went through a handful of the courses, and just like a proper personal development junkie, I fell in love.

But here’s the thing:

I also recommend this bundle for people who aren’t necessarily bloggers.

Here’s why: