Keep Your Kids Safe This Holiday Season (and, Fine, Other Times Too)

One of my least favorite things about holiday travel is having to take the car seats with us when we fly. Hauling them through the airport is the pits, but reinstalling them on the other side is, I think, best described by Dante in his little-known account of the tenth ring of Hell, in which a smug parent is doomed for eternity to fruitlessly search for the LATCH clip in the cramped backseat of a four-door sedan while contorted such that her spleen is now touching the backs of her front teeth. And it’s snowing outside and her butt is getting cold ....more

Awesome Fall/Winter Projects and Crafts

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! ‘Tis the season to roll yourself in glitter, slap a paper star to your forehead, and adopt as your official motto the phrase “All Your Crafts Are Belong to Us.” Work has made me insane in the membrane, so this year I’m not thinking too far outside the box and am instead revisiting craft posts from the past, all of which emphasize getting your gluestick groove on in cheap and easy ways. The TP Tube Turkeys and Borax Crystal Snowflakes are not to be missed, but there are some other gems in there too ....more

Easy DIY Felt Trees

These are great, aren’t they? L to r: Land of Nod, now out of stock, and the Company Store, $29 (hat tip to Caitlin’s holiday decor guide for the link). Now let me show you how to make them for $3 ....more

Locked and Loaded: National Child Passenger Safety Week

Nothing ruffles a parent’s feathers quite like a well-meaning bystander pointing a finger and proclaiming UR DOIN IT WRONG. It’s hard not to puff up against criticism when we are, for all intents and purposes, trying our hardest to do what’s best for our children. But to assume that we always know what’s best is to perhaps be too confident for our own good ....more

First of First

Today was Wombat’s first day of first grade (FIRST GRADE), and we’ve done so much all-caps-excited talking about it for weeks on end that I was completely caught off guard last night by the sudden sneaker wave of sadness that almost knocked me off my feet as I stood staring off into the proverbial horizon of the school year. I was surprised because I’m not really sad about it at all, I swear. First grade will be awesome and he’s so ready to have the company of his friends and to get back into the routine of his classes, and I’m so ready to get back into the routine of working alone and taking trips to the grocery store that don’t feel like hostage negotiations because I’ve got one or more children terrorizing my trek through the canned goods ....more

Writing to Write

Long story short, last August my main source of work dropped the bomb that they wouldn’t have any projects for me for FIVE WHOLE MONTHS *Munch scream*, but it was exactly then that I started a contract position writing articles and listicles and advertorials for one of my very most favorite clients (I love you, CafeMom!) and thereby avoided the dire fate of–OITNB spoiler alert–having to sell my panties on the Internet to make a living. So it is that every week for the past year I churned out somewhere between a couple and a handful of original stories, which is a lot considering I have no formal background in journalism or marketing and I’m also the world’s slowest writer (it sometimes takes me a half hour to come up with a headline that passes modern SEO muster). This I was doing in addition to, starting in January, resuming steady work at my regular job as a book editor, which had not only revived but blossomed into an abundance of projects for an expanded group of clients (*angel choir*) due to my timely realization that networking is kinda sorta actually crucial for a freelancer and not something I could keep hand-tossing away as “oh, not really my thing.” In the meantime–and here is where I’ve buried my point, despite having promised up there at the top that this would be the short version of a long story–one of the things that fell off my metaphorical cart and was subsequently crushed into bits by a stampede of wild wildebeests was my ability to write here about whatever the heck fuck I wanted, using naughty words and everything ....more

UrbanSitter Brings Child Care (and Me) into the 21st Century (sponsored + freebie for you!)

Captain Obvious here with some life-changing news! Did you know you could pay someone money to feed your kids dinner and put them to bed while you, yourself, are not even on the premises? While your dear little ones are brushing their teeth and negotiating for an extra bedtime story (or three), you could be halfway across town eating organic beet and farro salad with shaved Parmigiano and enjoying the dulcet tones of no one whining directly into your ear holes ....more

In the Crapper

Speaking of losing things, earlier today I stood up at the conclusion of my *ahem* daily constitutional and, while the flush was already in mid-swirl, I caught out of the corner of my eye in the mirror across the hall (pooping with the door open is truly one of the great joys of working from home) the image of a small piece of paper fluttering from my back pocket and into the bowl, where it circled a few times, slunk up into the hole, and then–as I flailed helplessly toward my porcelain adversary–peeked a corner back out, as if it were about to surface, before, alas, it succumbed to the forces of our hearty indoor plumbing, so dearly beloved in every other case but this. During the paper’s final wave of departure, I leaned in (but not too close; I’ve seen those videos) and tried to make out a word or two but could not. The notes were in my handwriting and probably recorded nothing more critical than a grocery list, and thus I am trying valiantly to not let the not-knowing drive me to madness ....more

Gone But Not Forgotten

Simon’s car got broken into in front of our house over Thanksgiving weekend (I was not thankful to discover my child’s car seat filled with broken glass), and in addition to taking the subwoofer, S’s nice sunglasses (not one of the thirty pairs of $5 ones, of course), and my child’s sunglasses (really, dude?), this person also robbed us of a bag of miscellany that included things like hand sanitizer, a multitool, pens and markers, spare change, that sort of thing. Last month when I couldn’t find the full SD card I’d taken out of my DSLR camera around that same time, I was sure it had been stolen with the lot. I remember having swapped the full card for an empty card in the car, and I couldn’t find it anywhere in the house, so it made perfect sense that it, too, was gone forever ....more

Peas and Harmony (review + giveaway!)

I was compensated for this post with a free review copy of the book, but YOU have a chance to win much more by entering the contest below! A potty-trained child is the gift of freedom. No more diapers, no more diaper bags, no more surprise wet spots on the furniture or the car seat or the lap dressed in dry-clean-only fabrics ....more