Thank you for Smoking

Since my earliest memories take place in the early/mid-80s, I do remember my friends’ permed moms and my permed grandmas smoking in front of us kids. Nobody knew about the dangers of secondhand smoke until maybe the summer I turned 9 or 10. Either way, there was lots of gum, lots of crabby people, lots of slim-fast shakes, and most importantly, lots of OUTSIDE smoke breaks.
Old age got my grandparents and cancer got my friend Meredith’s mom (who never smoked). Other than that, we’re all still alive.
Fast forward to my mid-30s and my kids were playing in the front lawn. Our next-door neighbor, whom I otherwise like, came out to his front yard and lit up.
I’d like to say Dino didn’t start screeching, “Eww! He’s so STINKY!” With Taz following suit.
I’d like to say I promptly apologized and made the kids do the same.
I’d like to say I didn’t laugh as I herded them back inside.

But no.

Here’s why: when you smoke around other people, you’re saying, “my lack of self-control and addiction to this foul-smelling drug, are more important than your right not to be exposed to carcinogens due to my bad choices.”

The younger third of Gen X on down, you have no excuse. We’ve all known since you were in high school, that smoking hurts others. If you developed and persist in the habit anyway – you brought the criticism on yourself.

Now please excuse me, I’m off to pour my fourth cup of coffee.

Go the F*&@ to Sleep / If only I had met Uncool Dad just a few years earlier…

  • Th

    This should have been MY book! 

I can’t go to sleep because…

  • My hair is brown
  • My eyebrows are too thin
  • There are monkeys jumping on my bed
  • There is a gorilla in my bed
  • No, YOU go to sleep
  • You need to paint my nails
  • My sibling’s stuffed animal’s feet stink
  • The baby doesn’t have a penis
  • I don’t know the code to Daddy’s iPad
  • I’m only holding 17 Hot Wheels and/or My Little Ponies
  • I didn’t get to say goodnight to (insert school friend here)
  • I’m too busy laughing hysterically about the donkey we saw pooping at the petting zoo last week.
  • There is a squid/alligator/octopus in the toilet/shower/sink/backyard.
  • I want to sleep in the Octopod.

Tomorrow morning, I will be an evil little crab, and Mommy it’s ALL YOUR FAULT for depriving me of sleep.

Ipsy September Glambag: I guest on Belle by Ashley!

Thanks to BellebyAshley for hosting me as I share my bad-ass Ipsy street style bag!

While I’m getting all the attention, I’d like to remind you all that those Jamberry wraps are (Forgive me Style Sisters, for I have SINNED!) turning three weeks old tomorrow. Not bad for a lady with a lazy bum for a thyroid who’s constantly sewing, cleaning, dyeing, and drilling.

Want some Jams of your own? Want to host a party? Yeah. You know you do!

Attractive Female Authors May Just Get Teen Boys to Want to Read More!

LMFAO! Hopefully **I** get published while i’m still young and hot. Oh quiet, it’s nothing an elliptical and some Botox can’t fix, but I’ve got connections.

I’ve got to say, I know and adore Jaimie Engle, and while I think this campaign is hilarious, it’s also genius and she’s very appropriately added. But where’s my girl http://www.debbiereedfischer.com/? Or the newly ginger http://www.gabytriana.com/? Being that South Florida is the East Coast capital of superficial, I say SCBWI should hop to it in getting an event like that here!

So what are you doing with all your spare time?

I love hearing this question from well-meaning (and usually, childfree/childless acquaintances) and hiring managers.

The “right thing to do” while unemployed, is of course, to volunteer. In principle a great idea, this is an extremely frustrating thing to hear as a mom of two small children.

Back in my clueless days when it was just little 3-month-old Dino, I contacted a local organization who had advertised a need for social media strategist and collateral copywriter. I brought Dino to the interview, very excited. We discussed my working from home, and I thought I was all set when the Senior Director asked, “So where will be be in daycare while you’re writing for us?”

Jaw on the floor, and I politely excused myself from the interview. We were in an area where non-retail jobs were few and far between, yet acceptable daycare for Dino would have cost more per month than we now pay for top-notch daycare for both Dino and Taz. Let’s not get me wrong, Uncool Dad has a much-better-than-average salary, but not “let’s pay so Uncool Mom can work for free” pay grade. In other words, if I was putting an infant in daycare… it would be because of a paying job that advanced me along my career path.

In most homes, daycare is the biggest expense coming out of the second income, and with no second income… daycare is cut or gone.

To offset the cost of my two preschoolers staying in daycare 2 days a week, I am:

  • Contracting as an Account Manager to a small local agency;
  • Keeping my sales and business strategy skills sharp in running a direct sales business
  • Getting smart on SEO/SEM
  • Dragging my poor children around on educational activity after educational activity to compensate for their missing 3 days in preschool
  • Attending networking meetings
  • Organizing the fall fundraiser/book fair for my children’s preschool. With my track record of being great at shaking people down, I’m excited about this one.
  • …. and oh, yeah, looking for a permanent job.

Visibility and prestige-wise, of course it would be much better if I were, say, spending my days outside the house building for Habitat for Humanity or developing marketing communications strategy for a local nonprofit. But the reality is, we can pay the annual GDP of a small country each month to put our kids in daycare, only when we have two incomes.  However this might reflect on me, I will not be going into debt so I can work for free for appearances’ sake. In fact, my children’s daycare/preschool doesn’t even take credit cards if I wanted to go that route.

And while there is some degree of regaining of my physical and mental health (3 hours a day in the car did neither any favors), those who hint I’m sitting on my butt catching up on Real Housewives of Kalamazoo reruns, really sound very silly (to put it nicely).

Should I have volunteered more in my 20s, pre-kids? Yes. But even without my reasons and commitments that kept me from doing it regularly, I can’t change the past.

And once again, it comes back to kids being the acid test – any potential employer who does not understand why I’m not out volunteering 40 hours a week, is not the place for me. And as frustrating as it is, I’m glad we both get that on the table up front.