Sunday, September 29, 2013

Book Giveaway: Things You'll Only Hear From Your Friends

In the Powder Room has been entertaining women online since 2009 with the funniest and most irreverent articles, written by the very best women writers. When you're In The Powder Room, you can have a laugh, share your opinions, and enjoy lively discussion from some of the most clever commenters you'll read.

I've been a big fan of ITPR's editor-in-chief, Leslie Marinelli, who is the author of the award winning and hilarious blog The Beareded Iris, for years. When I heard Leslie was compiling an anthology of "stories you'd whisper to your best friends, leaning over to tell them 'You've got lipstick on your teeth," I knew I had to give it a shot and send something her way.

I'm excited to say that "You Have Lipstick On Your Teeth," In the Powder Room's first anthology, has just been released; a collection of 39 stories of hilarious, embarrassing, and often poignant moments by some of today's most talented female bloggers, and today it sits on Amazon's Top 20 list of Amazon's best sellers for humorous essays. My piece, "Jungle Moves," is included in this best seller that shot up to number one on Amazon on its first day.

You can order your copy of YHLOYT for kindle (4.99) or paperback (8.99), but for fun, today I'm giving away a copy here. 

Leave a comment to win, tweet it out, or Facebook it. Just let me know in the comments below. Giveaway will be open until next week Saturday.

"You Have Lipstick On Your Teeth is 39 stories of hilarious, embarrassing and often poignant moments by some of today's most talented female bloggers. Thank God for girlfriends and shared visits to powder rooms! That’s always been the concept behind the website where we’ve been entertaining women with our humor and bold, brave honesty since 2009. Now we’re taking it to the next level with an anthology of original short stories from some of the wittiest women writers we know—stories they would only tell their closest friends, most likely from within the haven of a ladies’ room. Inside you’ll find 39 true tales by women, for women, about being women—bodily changes, relationships, careers, motherhood, aging, illness, and more—written with the humor and grit that proudly sets In The Powder Room apart. But be forewarned: we’re holding nothing back. We’re revealing our deep dark secrets..."

Good Luck!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Things Boys Need From Their Moms

I have three children, all boys, and I am thrilled without regret, to be their mother.

I don't pretend I'm happy with boys, I am happy with boys. I would have been happy with all girls, too, or with a mix of girls and boys. I just wanted children, since little on. I have wanted to be a mother always.

My children are growing up, as children do, no matter how we try to press them down and keep them small by squishing them in tiny beds (like you don't...) they grow up. I've now entered my 18th year as a mother of all boys, and I've kept mental notes along the way. While driving this morning, the mental list was getting too long to keep track of, so I'm writing it down here. My blog, my open journal, my source of connection, and a bridge to others...

I'm grateful for this space here, and for those who read and share with me. Please take what you feel fits in your life from my list here, and add what you've found is your nugget of wisdom. Let's all help each other with this parenting gig, hmmm?

What I Believe Boys Need From Their Moms (and children in general)

 Teach your boys to respect women and how to treat women. Women on the average are physically smaller and shorter than men, but this is only the physical. Mentally, and person value wise, women are equal to men. It sounds ridiculous to have to teach this, but it's what we as mothers need to do. I turn off commercials that show women as less than capable or inferior or needy, because actions speak louder than words. I comment on magazine covers or ads that show women feeble and manipulative. I am now the second shortest person in my house, there are three taller than I am, and only the 5th grader has to look up to me when he speaks, but my voice in this house carries weight, because I have never backed down from issues or made myself appear as anything less than physicall and mentally able. Is this the first and longest and most run on paragraph in this post? Yes, it is, because this one is the most important of what boys need from their mothers.
Some boys will not want to talk as much as you do. Very possibly true. You may feel the need to ask and jump to the emotional right away, they may not. You know your child, his eyes will tell you if he needs some nudging to talk more. Otherwise, if they want to be left alone for awhile, try and oblige and give them that distance. Always with one eye to their hearts, open.

Say nice things to them. They may roll their eyes, but it still sounds like honey on toast. Drop them off at school with a "Knock 'em dead, handsome," and a "Whoa! Here's some sunglasses for those lethal blue eyes!" They'll think you're a cornball, but inside, they love to hear someone is that gaga over them.

Always always always and always, let them know how glad you are they were born. No matter what. Never say you can't wait till they're gone or they move out or leave for college. No matter what the day has been like, NEVER say that.

Tell them you love them, and like them. At least twice a day. Via phone, text, email, notes left on the kitchen table, it all counts.

Teach them how to graciously give, and receive, an apology, by modeling it yourself. 

You're the sentinel at the internet gate. Have your household screens password protected and be the administrator for downloads/uploads on their electronics. Censoring? You bet it is. What they fill their minds with, stays. While you're in control, plant the seed of a conscience. 

Monitor their time on screens with a timer. 

Remind them that they exist because the world demands their presence in it, please, take part in your world, children.

Be visible in their schools or extra curricular activities. They feel pretty proud when it's their mom reading in front of the classroom, or teaching Sunday school, or the one on Friday afternoons teaching JA, or the boy scout leader, or the forensics coach. Parents are needed in so many places in and out of school. Don't let the same ones always be doing the same work, you get on in there. Your boys will beam that it's you.

Find out who their teachers are, the people they eat lunch with, and what they have for homework. Ask them about one of these things, every day.

I'm writing this paragraph again, it's the most important one. Teach your boys to respect women and how to treat women. Women are, on the average, physically smaller and shorter, but this is only the physical. Mentally, and person value wise, women are equal to men. It sounds ridiculous to have to teach this, but it's what we as mothers have to do. I turn off commercials that show women as less than capable or inferior or needy, because actions speak louder than words. I comment on magazine covers or ads that show women feeble and manipulative. I am now the second shortest person in my house, there are three taller than I am, and only the 5th grader has to look up to me when he speaks, but my voice in this house carries weight, because I have never backed down from issues or made myself appear as anything less than physically and mentally able. Is this the first and longest and most run on paragraph in this post? Yes, it is, because this one is the most important of what boys need from their mothers.

Remind them to wear their seat belt. Every day, every time they leave. Say, "Please wear your seat belt. It's safer that way." Don't forget.

Ask them what they'd like more of, from you.

Talk to them about drugs, alcohol and sex, even if that's not your thing. Tell them what drugs do to a young person's brain and body, tell them what alcohol does to a young person's brain and body, and tell them what too early sex does to a young person's heart and soul. Also say, "Just because you're physically able to do something doesn't mean you should."

Teach them the difference between assertive and aggressive, by showing them how to ask for things they want. Model the behavior of cooperation seeking, rather than bullying and tell them that asking for something is the best way to get it. Reassure them in their attempts and encourage them to speak up for themselves. You can begin this with their interactions with teachers, and later on when talking for themselves at Dr. appointments. 

Congratulate them on their accomplishments, attempts, grades, projects, events, races, meets, competitions, papers, debates. Tell them you're proud, you see the work they did, and how impressed you are with their dedication and self direction. Never take the good in them for granted or as a given.

Let them know your expectations. Set the bar as one of value, perseverance, effort, and challenge. Share your stories of when you pushed beyond your comfort zone, and how you triumphed, or not. Let them know that it's in the push that we see the glory. And the glory, is in the effort.  

Have to say the obvious here -- let them know the tried and true of Do your best, Work your hardest, Honor your commitments.

Smile often, and tell them how much you enjoy being their mother. They don't need to know about the intricacies of your adulthood, just let them know being their mother is the highlight of your life here.

Don't think you don't matter. OH BOY, you matter. Attend any of their events when you can. When they see your face there, they have to stop themselves from bursting into a full grin. Even if you don't see it. That's what I tell myself, "Oh if he could smile that pearly smile right now, he so would."

 If they act like they don't need you, it's because they don't. Not always. Take your cue, assess the situation. Look into their eyes and read between the lines of their voices. They're biologically wired to seek independence and lead, but a well placed, kind, "Just let me know, I'm right here," is a reassuring encouragement for new endeavors.

Boys are the opposite sex of what their moms are. They're not our carbon copies, remember this when you have times when you can't understand them. Hormonally and biologically, they're not female. The hormones testosterone and estrogen have separate purposes.

Make your house an emotionally safe, accepting place. Promise them you will always listen, then never break that promise. Whatever they come to you with, zip your lip, and listen. If you want your children to come to you and speak freely and openly, they've got to trust you.

Make your house a physically safe place. Don't invite danger in. In all its forms.

Take a deep breath before reactions. Don't think parent/child, think human/person to person. This is especially important when they get older.

Squeeze in the little things they like, do it. Whatever it is. Sometimes that means getting up earlier, going to bed later, not finishing that book like you want to, but make the pumpkin bread that he loves in the fall. Fifty minutes of your time, but he smiles when he knows what he sees when he comes home from school.

Loving your boys physically, verbally, emotionally, will not make them mama's boys. It'll just make them feel secure that they matter in this world.

Teach them to value themselves and every bit of themselves. Let them hear you say over and over, "Don't give yourself away lightly."

Find a common hobby. Bike riding? Walks? Trips to the library? Reading books silently side by side? Looking through cookbooks? Seeing scifi movies together? Watching soccer plays of the week? Tennis at the playground or against the garage door? You can find something. Don't give up. 

Guide them into independent decision making. Ask them what they think and why. Tell them you trust what they'll do, and let them own that decision.

Teach them to not waste water, use leftover water to water plants, and turn off the shower while you soap up. Give them a conscience about what needs to be treated with wonder and respect.

Tell them they can call you anytime, from anywhere, if they find themselves in a place/condition that is not right. You'll come, no questions asked, you'll fly there faster than Superman. Stick to that promise.

"Accept your child for who he is, and watch him blossom." I've kept this in my heart, ever since my children were bitty toddlers and I read it in a parenting magazine. "Accept your child for who he is, and watch him blossom." 

I keep those words at the ready, every day, and it's the filter I speak through.

So much love to all you parents. xo


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

What Happens When You Don't Listen To Oprah

Lessons learned the hard way, like not listening to Oprah, when I should have.

I should have listened to Oprah and then I wouldn't now be icing my shins (would be/would not be?). Either way, I've got bags of frozen corn on these timber sticks of mine, and not even close to stopping them from screaming.

All because I didn't listen to you know who.

On Purple Clover today, what I should have done, and didn't -- don't let this happen to you.


Monday, September 23, 2013

Better Than Tony Robbins

**thank you to my children, who always come home saying, "Mom! I found something you'll like!" xo

When you get down, and need help getting back up. When the usual sources of inspiration, motivation just can't pep you up this time.

When you wish for victory! Triumph!

Give this a listen, two minutes later, and you're shouting out your front door I CAN DO THIS!
This makes me cry happy tears today.
Today... today we draw the line!

Friday, September 20, 2013

World Alzheimer's Day

 **I love this picture of my mother. It was in June of this year, and by this time, she had begun to wear three blouses at a time. It makes me smile, and endears her condition to me just so much more. 
* * *

 It's fitting that on my birthday today, I'm teaming up with Johnson&JohnsonParents, for a cause near to my heart, Alzheimer's, on September 21st, World Alzheimer's Day.

The closest I can come to feeling my mother is with me today, is to celebrate her. I'm missing her call this morning, the one that always began, "Feliz Cumpeanos, Mija!" She never missed our birthdays, all six of us, up until the last year of her life.

I'm proud to be part of Johnson&Johnson's campaign recognizing and bringing awareness to World Alzheimer's Day. I hope you'll click over to JNJParents, and share in a memory of my mother, from just this year.

Thank you so much. And for any of you caring for and loving on someone with Alzheimer's, your kindness and patience is something they feel, even if they can't find the words to tell you.

September 21st is recognized as World Alzheimer’s Day. A day of awareness and remembrance of all of those afflicted by this condition, which is currently said to be 5 million in the United States. But the people affected go beyond those that are suffering. In 2012, it was estimated that there were 15 million caregivers who logged 17 billion hours of unpaid care. For people like Alexandra Rosas, serving as a caregiver for her mother allowed her to see everyday life in a whole new light.
Finding a Hero - In the midst of Alzheimer’s, we sometimes see things in a different light. One caregiver tells the endearing story of watching her ailing mother with her young son. Read her story here...


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Skylanders: Part 3 of 4 Again for Parents


dun dunh

Part Three... dun dunh OF FOUR

This one is about...


dun dun DUNH

It's me, Auggie, writing my Wednesday post for my mom on Skylanders because I said I would do four parts and this is part number three and I know what I'm doing for the last part too. But today we are going to talk about...

Skylanders SWAP FORCE

This is about the new Skylanders game called Skylanders Swap Force that isn't out yet. 

The premise of the game is the same like I told you in Part one and Part two, but there is a new character implement: you can swap top and bottom half of Skylanders. Remember that part because when your kids tell you why they need more Skylanders you will understand why.

This came to be by the Skylanders protecting a magical volcano, and it erupted, causing them to be split in half. This is really cool because say you really like the punching power of Night Shift, but he doesn't have legs so you don't like them. There's this guy, Stink Bomb, whose legs you really like because he is a skunk and he shoots out spray and you can sneak around, but you don't like his arms because they are wimpy.

So you combine the two and make Night-Bomb! (because part Night Shift and Part Stink Bomb)  He can punch and shoot skunk spray! 

There are 16 swappers, 16 new Core guys some Light core guys, and a bunch of series 2 and 3 guys. I cant wait until it comes out October 13th I all ready pre-ordered it for $1.00 in August. I can't wait till this day gets here. I'm so excited!

See you next time! (I think it's a good idea for me to tell you about what happens on October 13, when Swap Force comes out, so you are ready to talk to your kids on that day)

-Baby E

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Don't Want To Disappoint the Hispanic Seekers

With thanks to Jenni Chiu, for the inspiration.

At the end of the day, my kids and I like to see what google searches bring people over to this blog. The searches are always a surprise and we try to figure out what post brings "Fat bottomed mom" and "Hoarder's house" seekers to the yard.

This week, I've had a couple of "What do Spanish people look like?"" and "Are Latinas too short for ponchos?"

I don't want anyone disappointed by what they find when they land here on this blog, so the call to help these people seeking answers to their searing questions that are important enough for them to turn to google at 1 a.m. is loud and clear.

I will help you.

You want to know what Spanish people look like?


They look like this:

Blonde and blue-eyed, like my son.

or like this:

  Dark haired and green-eyed, like my other son.

 Sometimes, Spanish people look like this:

Dark haired, brown-eyed, olive skinned.

You can also find Spanish people with tan colored skin, and hazel eyes.

 Like this son.

If you want to know what Spanish people look like, sometimes they're beautifully copper, like my cherished nephew, Tomas.

This is what we look like in a group.

So, dear "What do Spanish people look like," I sincerely hope your search here has helped you to see that Spanish people can be light, dark, in between, straight haired, curly haired, blue eyed, brown eyed.

My apologies, also, for this long winded post, when I really could have just quenched your google thirst for information regarding Spanish people with one sentence, "The women are the most beautiful in the world and the men are like Greek gods."

Now, as for "Are Latina women too short to wear ponchos?," this is a serious matter. Please google search "Are short white women too short to wear ponchos?," this should lead you to "Carnivorous Blanket: how to avoid."

Happy searching!

* * * is a great site, featuring resources for health care, parenting tips, and more. Check out their fun feature today, where I and eight other bloggers, let you in on the Halloween costumes we survived as children.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

America and The Pumpkin Spice Latte

I see it now, an excited overcaffeinated exchange in a Seattle hipster coffee den on a gloomy, drizzly day (when isn't it, in Seattle?). Through just-burned coffee lips and with shaking hands, someone jumps out of their reclaimed wood chair and shouts, "Hey! I know this Colombian coffee is so monster good by itself -- maybe a little raw sugar and organic cream added for those who need it unleaded a bit -- but WHY NOT DESTROY TAKE IT TO A WHOLE 'NOTHER LEVEL??"

"Know what I'm thinking? Pumpkinize it! I'll text my mom, I know she's got a can of pumpkin puree left over from that last Thanksgiving with grandma, and some cloves for sure, and a 1976 Spice Island container of Pumpkin Spice. Let's have at it!"

Then a chorus of jittery yesssssss punches the air. Wiping the beaded sweat from their upper lips, the hipsters agree, "Totes McGotes!" And so they did.

They high fructose corn syrup candy-corned the heck out of something so pure and beautiful and now people no longer depend on their calendars to announce the first day of fall, nope... the season change from summer to autumn is proclaimed by sidewalk chalkboards, in architectural style scroll: PUMPKIN SPICE LATTES ARE HERE!

We can tell our children that we remember the days when fall started on September 21, if they'll believe us. Though probably not. They'll shake their little heads and say, "No no no. Simply can't be. I mean, if that's true, then why am I holding a Pumpkin Spice Latte in my hand? And it's September 1? Explain that, Mom." I can't, because the devotion to the Pumpkin Spice Latte is legendary, it's a lifestyle.

Finally, to get my PSL friends (I keep PSL friends separate from nonPSL for obvious reasons) off my back, I gave in and tried the drink. First, let me say that I had been promised oral sensory delight that would be beyond culinary imagination. With that promise in mind, I ordered my first PSL. My reaction?

I had to tweet and Facebook it:

And then these started flying back:

The urban whisperings of people being prescribed Paxil and Prozac when drive-thru placing their Grande Venti Trenta sized orders for the clove/nutmeg/cinnamon sweet cream mix and being told they're Sold OUT are not a myth. Sold Out? you say? American Pumpkin Heads cannot deal.

Watch this and see:

I just can't with the Pumpkin Spice Par-Taaay. I don't care what anyone says, and it's not just because my thunder has been stolen from no longer being able to say that my birthday is on the first day of fall (September 21 for anyone who wants to remember) because a superdiculous drink like the Pumpkin Spice Latte's arrival now heralds as the first day of fall.

Well, ok, maybe a little.

I tried, America, but after years of self-identifying my date of birth with the start of autumn, the odds were against me and the Pumpkin Spice Latte ever bedding down together.

And the fact that sipping it was akin to sucking up volcanic ash, made the syrupy oversweetness of charred firewood that much more of an occasion to celebrate. I was not going to like you, Mr. Pumpkin Head.

Still, I will be gracious and wish you a happy tenth birthday, Pumpkin Spice Latte. But not without adding, never has it been easier to say no to 510 calories. But, hey, if you're into what the portal to hell tastes like, I get it.

* * *

** if you want to see some real fun, follow the #pumpkinspice hashtag on twitter. These people give a new meaning to the word devotion.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

End Medicine Abuse

Listen To Your Mother  has joined forces with The Partnership at to host an exclusive blog tour, to follow the live-streaming event of readings on September 10.

We invite you to join us today, Thursday, September 12, as 11 women discuss the epidemic of medicine abuse -- a health issue that is a concern for all of us. Read the original stories on their blogs today and hear them read live, sharing in what we know, and how you can help.
These readings feature new and original work about each of the women’s personal connections to addiction, substance use, and/or what they want children to know about the medicine abuse epidemic through powerful story-sharing. The following is my contribution to the #EndMedicine Abuse project.

* * * 

Growing up, there was no "talk" about drugs, drug abuse, or alcohol use in my home. My family was one of tight lipped understanding of what was acceptable or not. It was behavior based on fear, and though we might have done what was expected, sadly, there was no closeness.

My single parent mother wasn't comfortable bringing up issues that were hard, difficult ones to cover. Where do kids find knowledge and understanding, if it's not offered at home? We get it from school programs, yes, but where is the trust of someone you love, in that information?

I have talked to my teenagers about drugs. I began telling them when they were in the 6th grade. I didn't fear that they'd roll their eyes and sigh, bored at what lecture mom had to give because you kow what your kids will listen to?

Stories from real life.

The kind that are scary and uncomfortable to hear. And even more uncomfortable to tell, because of their truth.

When I was a teenager, there was a girl in my neighborhood, who after being out of school after a week of whispered rumors that her boyfriend had overdosed on her mother's prescription barbiturates, came back, to say that yes, her boyfriend at 17, had died.

The girl had often joked about her mother's medicine cabinet looking like a pharmacy. Her boyfriend got curious one day, and tried the pills. In the beginning, one pill at a time was fun enough. He soon though it would be more fun with two. And then four or more at a time became the amount of fun he needed. The pills didn't feel dangerous to him because they came from a Doctor.

When four at a time didn't get him as high as they used to, someone at school told him that if you take the pills with cough medicine, it would be a real wild ride. The girl was too scared to try that with him, but she was even more scared to tell him no. Her mother never checked on her cabinet full of prescriptions, new and expired, there were so many bottles, she never noticed what bottles had what pills missing, and they were all within such easy reach. One afternoon, with no one home at the girl's house, he took the red pills with yellow pills, and a bottle of her little sister's prescription cough medicine. He died that day.

No one believes that a tragedy will happen, especially if it's not talked about.

My children know this story to the point that they know the color of the girl's eyes. They know how that boy is forever 17. They know the names of the prescription drugs he took that day and of how prescription drugs killed him.

That boy is forever 17. And I will forever see the much too young girl's grey eyes stark against her face made ghostly white from grief, on the day I first saw her after her boyfriend died.

If you heard of a way that you could earn 50 cents on a dollar, you'd take it.

If someone told you that they knew of something that could give you a 50 percent chance of keeping your children safer, you'd say, "Tell me what to do."

Children who learn about the risks of drugs from their parents are up to 50 percent less likely to use drugs than those who do not get that critical message at home. 

50 percent less. Just by talking to them.

Talk to your children about prescription drug abuse. Lock up your medications and keep them out of reach, discard your unused and expired ones. Tell your children that coming from a Doctor doesn't mean they're safe -- they're prescription for a reason. Don't wait for them to ask you to talk. You tell them you want to talk.

It's never too early to start the conversation.

* * *

I am proud to be among the voices listed here, who are contributing their stories to this important project to EndMedicineAbuse. Please visit their blogs today to read and hear their story:

Janelle Hatchet –
Brandi Jeter –
Sherri Kuhn –
Heather King –
Lyz Lenz –
Judy Miller –
Lisa Page Rosenberg –
Alexandra Rosas –
Ellie Schoenberger –
Zakary Watson –
Melisa Wells –

Videos of live readings can be seen here:
Part I
Part II
Part III

 This live event, blog tour, and post are sponsored by The Partnership for, LTYM’s 2013 National Video Sponsor, working together with in an effort to #EndMedicineAbuse.

THANK YOU all so much for your attention to this crucial project.

Let's pledge to do all we can to keep our kids safe. Learn more and take the pledge to #EndMedicineAbuse at

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Through the Eyes of Autumn

Autumn makes me wish I were a poet, so I could put into words how this sudden switch in my life, going from full force bursting at the seams summer to the tree baring pause of fall, fills me with the need to stop, and examine.

The space between summer and winter is more like a new year than December 31. Something gives way, something new arrives. The green of summer that slowly becomes burning blazes of autumn here in Wisconsin, is like a farewell bonfire to the days of sun, no schedules, and days that go on forever.

It's a bittersweet season, but I work through it.

I hope you join me, at Purple Clover today, as I think of the promises ahead, after all the leaves have fallen.


* * *

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

What is Medicine Abuse?

Join in tonight, Tuesday, September 10, at 9 PM EST and find out, as 11 women discuss the epidemic of medicine abuse -- a health issue that is a concern for all of us. Hear original stories, read live, sharing in what we know, and how you can help.

Listen To Your Mother  has joined forces with The Partnership at to host an exclusive live-streaming event via Google Hangout On Air.

These readings will feature new and original work about each of the women’s personal connections to addiction, substance use, and/or what they want children to know about the medicine abuse epidemic in a powerful story-sharing hour. Join us at this kickoff to a blog post tour featuring these wonderful writers.

Watch the livestream broadcast at the Listen To Your Mother YouTube channel ) beginning at 9 pm EST.

This live event will feature:

Janelle Hatchet –
Brandi Jeter –
Sherri Kuhn –
Heather King –
Lyz Lenz –
Judy Miller –
Lisa Page Rosenberg –
Alexandra Rosas –
Ellie Schoenberger –
Zakary Watson –
Melisa Wells –
For more information and to join:
RSVP on the Google Event Page

 RSVP (optional for Google + users)
View live:
and/or join us at

**If you aren’t available to watch the live-stream, you can read all of the posts and watch the video of the event. Check for details on Thursday 9/12/13.
To learn more about The Medicine Abuse Project, visit and follow the conversation online at #endmedicineabuse.

 This live event and blog tour are sponsored by The Partnership for, LTYM’s 2013 National Video Sponsor.


Sunday, September 8, 2013

More Like How To Get Yourself Arrested

The weather here in Wisconsin has been true to the fall spirit; rainy, drizzly, overcast -- in short, perfect weather for hanging around in book stores.

Yesterday, littlest and I headed out to our local book store to find something funny yet clever, simple yet complex, relevant yet random, to read. We stuck side by side as we ran our fingers along the titled book spines on the shelves, since he's a lot like me, reads with his fingers.

Not finding anything that grabbed us a must have it!, we decided to find some fun writing journals instead. I used to call them diaries, he calls them journals. The aloof must've-been-a-cat once store employee pointed us with one finger to the left side of the store, without even looking up -- also correcting us as to the *diary for her/journals for him* now being called "chronicles."

We were like kids in a candy store with the chronicle cover choices, turquoise, monster faces, tie dye, a Darth Vader patent black.

And way on a top shelf, but not so high up we'd miss them, something I had never seen before. Self help "chronicles." I've bought plenty o' self help books, that's for sure. And I have just as many diary/journal/chronicles hidden away under my bed -- but the combination of both together made it impossible for me to resist pulling a simple flower covered one down.

"Oh, look, Auggie. It's a journal and it's full of ideas on how to be better. It's called A Deed a Day, with pages for you to write about how you did it."

"Better at what. Let me see." My youngest examines the inside and outside and says, "Better at what? It doesn't tell you."

"Better at being alive. Like a better person; kinder and not grumpy. Or maybe learning something new or trying to be brave. You 2.0," I explain while thumbing through the pages.

"Look, like this one," I say and begin reading out loud, "Bake some cookies for a new friend. You don't know them yet, but you will after today." "See," I tell him, "here they tell you to make a friend."

"Yeah, mom, but would you? Would you really? Cookies for a stranger and then take them to them?"

"Probably not. But what about this? Write a letter to someone you want to meet, tell them why you like them."

"I'm not writing letters to strangers telling them I like them, and then ask them to meet me. And I know Dad wouldn't be happy if you did that. You already don't have enough friends as it is."

"You're right. Well, here, listen to this one -- Go for a walk and give yourself a pep talk. Be good and loud and make sure you hear yourself."

"See? Now that's another crazy one. Do they want you to punch the air while you're shouting, too? Give me that, mom, I'll find something. Ha! Found one that you CAN'T do: Don't spend money today. This book is nuts, mom, just look at the last thing they want you to do." He hands the book over.

I read, "Tell a stranger her child is beautiful."

"See, mom? They want you to do all these things to strangers. This book's title is all wrong, A Deed a Day, more like How To Get Yourself Arrested.

Thanks for saving your mom today, little boy. I'm left home all alone with hours before me, and the road to prison was almost paved with a $5.99 paperback of good intentions.

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Friday, September 6, 2013

Guide To Skylanders For Parents of Kids Who Don't Know By a Kid

Skylanders Part 2/4 (If you already don't know what this is about go here

 I am writing this today because my mom is resting. I'm going to write four of these. This is the second one about my favorite game Skylanders. I write it on openoffice writer and then put it here.
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Part 2: Skylanders Giants, and the types of Skylanders

by me (Baby E or Auggie if you know me)

The second installment of the Skylanders franchise is Skylanders Giants

In Skylanders Giants there are eight giants that are twice the size of normal Skylanders. Also I am typing this fast because I had soccer and just finished homework and have to eat my tacos but I want to write this so your kids can play with you.

The story is that in ancient Skylands, there were evil giant robots called Arkeyans [THIS IS NOT SPELLED WRONG] that enslaved Skylands. 

The giants were summoned to stop them but I'm not sure by who so I don't want to say if I'm wrong. 

They defeated them, but with their last bit of energy, they banished the Giants from Skylands.

And now they have finally come back and it's your job to put them on the Portal of Power as the master of control charge to bring them to life and decide which ones.

There are five types of Skylanders, with three new types coming in the new game.

Type number 1 is series one, the original Skylanders, the series 2, which are better version to me of the series one and have enhanced ability Giants, which are GIANTS, lightcore [THIS IS NOT SPELLED WRONG] which light up in certain parts from the light emitted by the POP, and core which come out with the second and third games and are original to that game, though Series 2 version can made from them.

Thank you.
-Baby E

Monday, September 2, 2013

Listening and Learning, Life Lessons From The Dying

I've been writing almost solely of my mother since she passed away four weeks ago. There is so much to write, so much to tell, about how the death of someone as entwined to you as a mother, leaves you still, stopped in your tracks and jumping off to get on a different line.

I tell about it here today, on Purple Clover, with a post, "What the Dying Want Us To Know."

Thank you for reading. You've been my community, and I appreciate your support so much.

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