Introducing New Family Editor Nicole Blades of Ms. Mary Mack!

Hey-hey! Nicole Blades here. Some of you might know me from Ms. Mary Mack, the parenting blog that I started just one year into motherhood, when I was desperately trying to sort out this colossal shift from “me to mom.”...more
Congratulations! :) more

Are These Things Caused By a Bad Parent or Normal Kid?

I used to think kids who misbehaved or who seemed rude or who did gross things must have something "off" at home. Obviously their parents didn't know how to teach proper behavior. (Can I please go back in time and smack myself?) ...more
yep so many yeps! more

Why I Hate The Elf On The Shelf

I'm not happy about this post. I love mocking ridiculous things, but I feel most comfortable poking fun at stuff I like. Things like my college football team, my kids' quirks, my brother's ability to get free stuff from anyone he meets, and how my mom identifies herself by name when she leaves me a message. "Oh, hi Amy. This is your mom. Susan." My favorite target is myself. But today I turn my disdain outward, to a society that complains about consumerism and too many commitments, but spends $30 dollars for the privilege of managing the "magic" of a cheaply made stuffed elf during the busiest month of the year....more
the elf arrived here last year on the 22nd of Dec. If was a "gift". (beware the Delivery guy ... more

Oh My! The Day I Met George Takei

November 3, 2014 will go down in history for me. It was the day that I met George Takei—in person, shook his hand, and took a picture with him. I was on the phone with my grandmother while heading to the T station when I saw him. I immediately told my grandmother that I would have to call her back and ran after him as he went inside the building. My heart was beating 100 miles an hour and I was trying really hard not be a crazy fan girl....more
I can hear "Oh My" in my head now. :) more

The Mortifying Reason I Addressed My Boyfriend as 'Hey Dude' the First Month We Were Dating

At the suggestion of a few friends, I’m doing something a little different today — that’s right, I’m talking adventures in love.One of my most memorable adventures was with my boyfriend, who (to my great shame) I almost broke up with a month after we started dating because I didn’t know his name.Yeah, you read that right....more
This is a great story!!! :) more

Why My Children Can Say the F-Word: Words Don't Have Power

I live in a sweet little Bible Belt southern town. In some ways this is great (friendly neighbors, low crime rate)... and in others... well, maybe not so much. (I have a list, but today is not the day). Sometimes small-town living has crashed headlong into some of my more "unconventional" parenting approaches. One of these subject areas is my children's language. ...more
I just learned something new. more

Adult Swim: Being a "Mature Adult" at the Kids First Swim School

I had a rather depressing milestone birthday this year, and around the same time a friend asked if I’d like to participate in a women’s empowerment mini-triathlon in September with her. It sounded like an intriguing idea – just what I needed this year to prove to myself I’m not yet “over the hill.”...more
blogqueendiane I'm thrilled you wrote  it! more

Adult Swim: Being a "Mature Adult" at the Kids First Swim School

I had a rather depressing milestone birthday this year, and around the same time a friend asked if I’d like to participate in a women’s empowerment mini-triathlon in September with her. It sounded like an intriguing idea – just what I needed this year to prove to myself I’m not yet “over the hill.”...more
I applaud you for doing this. I also can't swim. I also too lessons as a child but they didn't ... more

A Letter To My Neighbors About My Yard: There's a Reason for It

Dear Busybody Neighbors,This is a letter to you, the ones that made a huge fuss over the state of chaos that was our yard after several tons of oak tree smashed our house during Hurricane Irene, the ones who welcomed us back to the neighborhood the very day we arrived home after our 10 months of refugee-living (while our house was being rebuilt) by reminding us that we had one week to clean up the yard before the America In Bloom garden snob judges came to town. There are many of you in this neighborhood. I know because I've had you pull over to remind us that our grass needs mowing even when it is only an inch or two taller than yours. I've seen you scoff at the toys scattered on the porch and the general unruliness of our yard....more
DifferentThanAverage lowdawgs  so sad. World oh world what is going on... more

Don't Tell Me They're Not Real: Internet Friends Are Real Life Friends

Don't tell me they're not real. I left a comment on the most random blog post I had ever come across in my many times clicking the "Random" button on LiveJournal. The blogger replied. I replied. Then the blogger's friend replied. I looked at his avatar, this friend of the original blogger, and my eyebrow raised a little bit. The back and forth conversation went on all evening, one comment after the other. Days later, AOL Instant Messenger names were exchanged. Three years later, we stood in front of our friends and family and exchanged vows. ...more
Today my friend talked me through a local event she heard on the news, while I talked to her ... more