Mastering the lowly drinking straw

My father did a lot of freelance writing at various points in his career, and one of my favorite things he ever sold to a magazine – because the title is so sublimely ridiculous – was “Mastering the Lowly Hoe” for a book published by Organic Gardening magazine. Who knew that using a hoe could be require so much practice and explanation?!

For some reason, this article’s title always comes to mind when I see C continue to struggle with mastering the lowly drinking straw. She’ll be 2 years old next month and she still can’t quite figure out how to work a straw.


And that’s what I’m blogging about over at Babble today.



J & S

This is J and her best friend S recently.


I can’t believe how fast they are growing up. It just seems like yesterday that they were at this stage. (Love this photo of the two of them when they were both about 7 years old)


Should the ad stay or go?

I am trying to decide whether to keep the single ad I have on my blog – the one over to your left there from BlogHer.

I am a big fan of BlogHer as a business and a social network, and I have been very happy to be included in their ad network. But I am getting some complaints from readers who say that the ad is doing funky things visually, and blocking folks’ ability to actually read what I’ve written.

So I am trying to decide whether to keep it.

My questions for you, blogreader, are these:

-Does the BlogHer ad on my site ever prevent you from viewing my content?

-Has there ever been a product featured in the ad that bothered/offended you in any way?

-Are you more or less likely to want to read a parenting/family life blog that features an ad? Or does that have no bearing on your readership?

-Are you more or less likely to want to read a parenting/family life blog that features compensated product reviews from the blogger? Or does that have no bearing at all on your readership?

If you feel so inclined, let me know your thoughts below.


A tree grows in Knoxville. But in which yard?

Anyone have any idea what sort of professional to consult when you aren’t sure whether a tree that needs to come down belongs to your neighbor or to you?

It looks like it’s the neighbor’s problem to my untrained eye, but he seems to think that enough of it has crept over past our property line that we should pay for half the cost of tree demolition.

Do I call an arborist? A surveyor? A psychic?

Anyone? Bueller…Bueller?

Dear Mommyblogger: I am a BIG FAN of your blog! I’d like to send you a free sample of FUNK-BE-GONE to give away to a few of your lucky readers…

I am now totally paranoid. I get lots of emails from PR and marketing folks wanting me to review stuff on my blog, but this one hit just a little too close to home.

Who told this guy about my smelly washer? Does he also know all about my smelly vaccuum cleaner? Are there hidden cameras installed in my laundry room?


Remember, just because you privately fear that the marketing pros who target us mommybloggers (full disclosure: by day, I am one of those people, but I swear to you that I actually DO really love your blog, and I do NOT have any freaky, intimate knowledge of how your washing machine smells) seem to have secret, insider knowledge that you haven’t changed the sheets on your child’s bed in far too long doesn’t mean you are paranoid.

ACTUAL EMAIL I RECEIVED TODAY (and note how he cut right to the chase, without even making any attempt to suggest that he’s a big fan of my blog. All he cares about is my smelly washer.)


My name is NAME REDACTED, I am the PR Manager for Our product removes mildew smell from washing machines. I would like to send your company a FREE Bottle of Smelly Washer so you can test it out & write a review about it on your website.

See How The Product Works:

Please give me a call at 952-935-4192 or send me an e-mail.

P.S. Our company also can offer Free Bottles of Smelly Washer to your readers if you wanted to run a contest or sweepstakes! Instead of spending money advertising our products we give away products to websites like yours to increase our brand awareness. Please email or call if your feel your readers would also enjoy receiving a free bottle of Smelly Washer!

PR Manager