Dedicated to the writers/bloggers of tomorrow…

oops.THAT Word.


To be fair, it was only the ‘ess-word’.  I mean, it’s not like I flashed the EFF or SEE words. And it was a total accident that, of course, caused an eruption of hearty laughter….in Sugar Bean’s 7th grade, Advanced English class last Thursday.

You see, after Sugar Bean oh so proudly told her teacher that I write a blog, she began following, and then asked me to come and speak about the benefits of good grammar skills in everyday life, the advantages of having an English degree, and the blessing that came from writing my thoughts down right here and having them turn into a job. That pays. A little 🙂

Anyway, I was delighted to go in and speak to the students. I’ve never been asked to do such a thing. Of course, that could be because I’ve only had a blog for a little over a year, and it’s hardly proper for the under 12 crowd, don’t ya think? So I prepared ahead of time, decided the key points to talk about, and then chose 3 posts to read aloud. Sugar Bean helped in the selection process. If you would like to read the selected posts. They are here, here and here. I had planned to read this one also, but got completely flustered after “Cold Turkey” popped up onscreen while I was searching for “Good Morning, Radio Listeners”. (wtf is that about?) I had all the selected posts pulled up in different tabs on my laptop, so I could easily navigate from piece to piece, but God decided to laugh at my technical preparedness, and throw me out of sync. In other words, I couldn’t project the screen of my laptop onto the wall of the classroom. Not for lack of trying though! Luckily, my blog isn’t blocked on the school’s server (although I’d throw down a heavy bet in Vegas it is now) and we were able to use Mrs.W’s computer. Short on time, and not really remembering how to open a new window on a PC, I decided the best way to find each post quickly was to simply search. BAD IDEA. After reading the first post, I typed in the keywords for the next one into the SEARCH BOX, and was taken to a post accompanied by an image with a caption containing the ‘ESS’ word. Oh, and the background was bright yellow, as not to be missed.  Of course, the projector was working very well that day.  GO ME, right? 

Fortunately, the class was only exposed to it long enough to read it, and react with roars of laughter. Once I realized it was there, I scrolled down and pulled it from view. Then I scrolled back up by accident 2 or 3 more times, inciting more hysterics. So, I’m oh for three now.

Oh well. The road to Hell is paved with good intentions. Or at least that’s what Mama always said 🙂

All in all, it was a very good day. I never lost their attention, and believe they genuinely enjoyed what I had to say. The word on the street is they told Sugar Bean I was pretty, and thought I was younger than I am. That’s ALWAYS a plus! They may have even learned a thing or two, who knows? A couple of the students had questions, and although I didn’t have time to discuss them in class, I want to now.

The first question is: “Do you blog everyday?” 

The obvious answer to this is NO. However, I do write everyday. I keep a journal in my purse, and I am constantly jotting things down in it for publication later. At any given moment, my brain has 8 gazillion thoughts running through it and it’s necessary to record the ones that shine. Or else they will be gone forever…lol. I want to blog everyday, eventually. But honestly, if I put down ALL my thoughts and adventures here….someone would show up at my door and fit me for a nice jacket and room with padded walls. So I’ll just stick to publishing the important stuff. For now. 

The other question is: “Do you want to write a book one day?” 

OMG, yes. That’s a dream of mine, and honestly, I didn’t know it was a dream until I started writing. That’s years down the road though…I think. I’ve got so much more living and learning and storytelling left to do, right here on this blog before I have enough to make a whole book worth reading. As I discussed with the class, my soul-sister whom I’ve never met (but will very soon), Glennon Doyle Melton–the genius behind Momastery–has written a book. Due for release  to the public on April 2nd. In a magical moment 2 weeks ago, I was contacted by TLC Book Tours about posting a review of her book, Carry On, Warrior, here on my blog. After I peed my pants, I enthusiastically accepted. The book arrived a few days ago….

It's REALLY here!

It’s REALLY here!

And I’m reading it…right now.

Thanks again, to Mrs.W, for making me feel like a ROCKSTAR by asking me to visit my Sugar Bean’s class. And thanks to the class for laughing at the inappropriate image your eyes were drawn to. That totally turned the day into a post 🙂



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The very first sleepover

The first sleepover has happened.

That is, with Sweet Pea and one of her 2 BFF’s. Who, btw, will be referred to throughout the remainder of the post as “J” 🙂 And in honor of the momentous occasion…a first sleepover for two 6-year-old besties…. I planned a girlie adventure, and set the bar kinda high. Shocker, huh? I settled upon a trip to a little girls’ paradise. Stay with me. I swear I’ll get to the details (and pictures), but first I have to tell you about what happened on the way over the hill.


(a bit of expository information ) 

The room Butter Bean and Sweet Pea share is a source of frustration. I can’t keep it clean and organized, and they won’t. Therefore, it is, quite honestly…the bane of my existence….on a daily basis. So I normally just leave it alone to avoid going bat-shit crazy. However, if company is coming over, I spit shine the entire house. Including their room. I imagine that most of you do the same with guests approaching the doorstep, right? If you don’t, you either have a housekeeper, or you’ve achieved a level of “I don’t give a rat’s ass” that I aspire to. Regardless, in my Friday morning, mad dash to clean shit stuff up, I happened upon a scrap of paper in their room upon which the sentence “I love ____” was written about six times. In a row, in Sweet Pea’s 1st grade handwriting. There was a name in the blank, but I’ve left it out to protect the innocent…lol. Anyway, I sort of giggled at the discovery, left it where I found it, and moved onto the organization of doll clothes and barbies into designated wooden bins.


Then, on the way to The Grove, this conversation happened:

J: I wonder where _____ lives? 

SP: I don’t know.

Me: Who’s ____? (knowing full well who it is, because I have seen this little boy’s name written 3 hours earlier)

J: He’s a boy in our class.

SP: (giggling, but remaining silent)

Me: Oh. Who likes him?

J: I do. And so does SP.

SP: So does ___!!! (insert name of the other BFF who isn’t present)

Me: Wow. He’s popular! Why do all of you like him?

J: Because he’s hot!!! Except for that tooth. Something needs to be done about that.  

Me: What??!!

J and SP, in unison: He has one tooth that is really big.

J: And kind of crooked.

SP: And he’s eight.

(giggles all around, including me–because I simply can’t believe what I am hearing)

Remember, they are six years old, so it’s all incredibly innocent, and cute, but the magnitude of their observation is not lost on me. 

With this, Sugar Bean, in her infinite, 13 year-old wisdom says “This is going to be a problem in about 7 years.”  I should add, that Butter Bean has remained silent the entire time, and I am waiting for her bombshell, which never comes. *whew* Not sure I could take much more, quite honestly. The conversation ends as a One Direction song comes on, and I am subjected to “road trip karaoke” for the next half hour. Swimming in a sea of awesome, right?

A view from the front seat.

A view from the front seat.

The good news is, we made it to our destination, which was The American Girl Store, where we had an appointment to have Savannah’s, Lauren’s, and Sally’s hair done. Before you ask….yes. They have an in-store salon for such affairs, and you can pick the hairstyle you want from a page full of possibilities, priced according to the complexity. Just like in real-life. If you want highlights, you gotta pay. The prices max out at $20, which is a far cry from what I fork over when my roots shine through, but still. I am not a doll. So, here is a glimpse of what it looks like. Notice SP’s doll…Savannah…sitting in the chair behind them 🙂

Sweet Pea & J, in front of the  AG  Hair Salon

Sweet Pea & J, in front of the AG Hair Salon

While the dolls were being treated to hair makeovers, we  I decided to explore the store, and take advantage of a photo-op spot inside, and outside 🙂

J, BB and SP with "Saige"...AG's Girl of the Year.

J, BB and SP with “Saige”…AG’s Girl of the Year.


Dolls with cool hairstyles? Check. Cool outfits for dolls? Check. Let's roll.

Dolls with cool hairstyles? Check. Cool outfits for dolls? Check. Let’s roll.


After looking at every possible corner of the store, we picked up the dolls and headed out the door and across the street to our next destination….

If you live in LA, and you haven't been, you suck. Seriously. Go there now.

If you live in LA and haven’t been, you have no soul. No excuses. Go there. NOW.

Honestly, I never order dessert, hate chocolate, and avoid sugar like it’s acid. Not because I fear weight gain, or cancer, or any of the other effects said to be the result of too much sugar…but simply because I am not a sweet eater. My taste buds just prefer sour or salty. However, I do appreciate a good candy store, and holy hell….DYLAN’S is the very best one I’ve ever visited. The candy in there could have been laced with crack and I would have bought it for The Beans  (plus one), simply because of the way it was displayed. And the background music was a remix of the theme from “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” AND “Ice cream and Cake and Cake”. Talk about suggestive marketing. Screw subliminal…Dylan has it going on, and I’m certain he knows it.

Look beyond the adorable little girls, into the mecca of sugar heaven.

Look beyond the adorable little girls, into the mecca of sugar heaven.

Bags of candy in hand…and a call to The Man to see if he was gonna meet us (NO)…and we decided it was time to eat, for real. So, this was the scene at dinner:

Obviously, I couldn't be IN the picture, but I was honored to have these cuties as dinner companions.

Obviously, I couldn’t be IN the picture, but I was honored to have these cuties as dinner companions.

Major props to our waiter, Michael, for enduring the high intensity sugar-rush that took over immediately after their food was consumed. I really hope the tip was enough 🙂

The ride home was priceless. More road trip karaoke involving “Trouble” by Taylor Swift, which Sugar Bean managed to record on her phone, but I can’t figure out how to upload for your enjoyment. Major fail, I know. My apologies. But the night continued to be a party. Fingernails were painted, popcorn was popped, movies were watched, farting noises with a strategically placed straw in an armpit resonated at unnatural volumes(gee…I wonder who taught them THAT?).

And then came bedtime, which got off to a fantastic start, and ended with me making the 10 minute drive  to her house, with a tearful J at 12:30 am. Bless her heart, she fought the good fight, and wanted to stay, but just wasn’t comfortable.  I totally get it. First sleepovers are scary at six.

Wait..who am I kidding? First sleepovers are scary. Period.

But there is always next time 🙂

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Eye Yoo Wee, Mommy!!


I hadn’t planned to write today, as I already have a good kick-ass post scheduled for Valentine’s Day. (Yes, that’s what is known in Hollywood as a ‘teaser’, so you’ll need to come back to see what the fuss is about)

However this morning for some reason, I kept thinking about when Sugar Bean was a toddler, just learning to talk, which inevitably reminded me of the day I was almost in tears….convinced she would NEVER say ‘I love you too’ despite me saying ‘I love you’ to her 8,000 times a day. Then my mind connected the dots of ‘I love you’ with the upcoming holiday, and….BAM…here I am…writing, in the middle of the dang day when I’m certain there is laundry to be done, errands to be run, babysitters to book (this has so far, been an unsuccessful task I might add)…you get the point. Because the story of her 1st “I love you, too” is good for both a tear, and a giggle.

Back to Sugar Bean.

As I mentioned, I constantly tell The Beans I love them, all day long, every day. It’s nauseating, I think. Since you never know when life will catch you by surprise, cut things short, leave you hanging…and because, I can’t remember either of my parents ever saying it to me –although I’m certain they did– I want to make sure it’s fresh in their minds. Even if the last words they’ve uttered to me are “YOU ARE THE MEANEST MOMMY EVER!” because I’ve refused some request. Anyway, I started doing this immediately after Sugar Bean was born. So, by the time she was 18 months old and talking up a storm….you can imagine my disappointment at the fact that she never seemed to say ‘I love you”, “I love you too” or anything that sounded close. To me.  What did I know? I wasn’t given the ‘Toddler Talk for Dummies Guide”, as a shower gift.

The scene would play out like this, day after day….

Me: “I love you.”

SB: (smiling, silent) 

Me: “SB, mommy loves you.” 

SB: (still smiling…giggles…runs off)

Me: (furrowing my brow)

She did, however, randomly utter the words “EYE-YOO-WEE”….a lot. But never really in response to my endless, sappy proclamation. Which always left me with a puzzled, “WTF?” look on my face.

This went on for months, I tell you. Until one afternoon, The Man and I were in the car cruising down Beverly Boulevard on our way to who knows where, with Sugar Bean strapped into her car seat in the back, happy as a clam, when I looked at her and said “I love you” and she responded with “Eye yoo wee too mommy! Eye yoo wee too!” 


There it was!!! My heart swelled with joy, and my eyes with tears. Then I realized, all those months, my dumb-ass thought she didn’t love me, when she had been saying it all along.


Needless to say, I made The Man pull over so I could yank her out of her car seat and shower her with hugs and kisses 🙂 The following Christmas, I took her to a cool new store called Build-A-Bear and (after two hours of coaxing) recorded it on one of those thingys you stick inside the paw of the bear, and gave it to The Man as a gift, hoping to capture it forever. What they don’t tell you is, the recording devices have a shelf-life, dammit. Still have the bear, but he no longer has Sugar Bean’s voice. Now that she is older, I receive beautiful things like this, which will weather the test of time, both in memory and in print 🙂

The moral of this story is: Leave it to a toddler to come up with a freaking genius way to say “I love you” that sounds nothing like it, but really sums up the meaning quite well.


I + You = We

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Fashion-stress…at 6?

Yes. It's just like that.

Yes. It’s just like that.

Ladies and gentlemen, we have an ongoing hostage situation at our house. The victims are the clothes in Sweet Pea’s closet. Every school day morning, (and usually on Sunday before church) after I rouse her from the comfort of her warm and cozy bed, the scene goes something like this:

Me: Hey Sweet Pea…time to wake up and get ready for school. 

SP: (in a whiny voice, with pouty face) But I’m tiiiiiiired. 

Me: I know, but it’s a bit after 7, and you have to get up and get dressed. 

SP: (sitting up now, arms folded) I don’t care about school. 

Me: You love school. Now let’s get up and get dressed, so we aren’t late. Again. 

She gets up, and I assume…or rather hope…this day will be different.

At this point, I inevitably have to walk out of the room to turn on the lights above the aquariums housing our bearded dragons and make sure Butter Bean is eating breakfast, since she has gotten up immediately after waking, chosen an outfit, dressed herself, put on her shoes, AND brushed her own hair, all within 20 minutes….without uttering a word. Sugar Bean, of course, has been in the bathroom the entire time. She’s 13. Need I say more?

It’s now 7:25 am, and I shout from the kitchen, “Hey, Sweet Pea, how’s it going in there? Are you dressed yet?” 

First there is no answer. Then, I hear faint whimpering, and sense the onset of what is now referred to in our home as ‘The Morning Meltdown’, so I head back into the bedroom to find Sweet Pea sitting on the floor, wearing nothing but her underwear. Believe it or not, this IS progress. I mean, she’s managed to take her pajamas off. Resisting the urge to raise my voice and demand that she just put on some @#$%-ing clothes, I softly say ” What’s wrong?”  Cue the tears. “I’m cold, and don’t know what to wear,” she replies.  So, I suggest an outfit, and she turns it down flat. Three more rejected outfits later, with the clock ticking like a bomb and my patience waning, she finally breaks down completely and shoots off these one-liners, becoming increasingly more agitated with each one:

“I can’t get dressed because I don’t know what the weather is going to be like.”In her defense, this is a problem, considering the weather where we live seems to be controlled at the hands of a rogue Mother Nature based on her menopausal thermostat…40 degrees one day, 85 the next. Clearly, she needs meds. STAT.

“You give me too many choices.” -Just trying to get the ball rolling. Damned if I do, damned if I don’t. I thought an array of cute outfits would help. Clearly, I don’t know crap.

“I wore that already.” – Whom does she think she is, a Kardashian? Since I sometimes wear the same black yoga pants multiple days in a row, I don’t know where in the heck she’s gotten the idea she can’t repeat outfits. Seriously.

“I don’t have any shoes to match that.” – Simply untrue. Between the pairs bought specifically for her, and the ones handed down from Butter Bean, the kid has an obscene amount of shoes.

“Nobody helps me in the mornings.” A blatant lie, considering I spend 95% of the time in the mornings at her side, trying to thwart this shit show. Obviously it’s a last-ditch effort for sympathy and a tactic for running down the clock.

And my personal favorite…..“YOU DON’T LIKE ME, OR WANT ME AS A CHILD!!!!”  – Ludicrous. I adore this child to pieces. Even when she acts like a dictator, reigning over her closet, day after day.

The only thing I can do in response to this last one, is….well…burst out laughing. Every single time. Obviously this does nothing to help the now heated negotiations, which I can only imagine resemble those with a shrewd, and determined terrorist.  Generally, I resolve to abandon the talks and exit the room. A few minutes later, she’ll emerge dressed in something, and by that time, I couldn’t care less what it is, because Sugar Bean is demanding to leave so she won’t be late, Butter Bean is already in the car waiting, and I still have to pull Sweet Pea’s hair into a ponytail and braid it, so we can avoid falling victim to the head lice which have infiltrated our school again, as that would surely put me in the dirt for good. It almost did last time. Read about that here, if you dare.

Keeping my fingers crossed, in hopes this is a phase, and she’ll be done with it sooner rather than later. Because, so help me God, if her fashion stress is this bad at 6, I’m certainly doomed when she hits her teens.

Say a prayer for me, will ya?


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