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Hollow Tree Ventures parenting humor
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Why Back-To-School Shopping is Awesomely Awful

I love back to school time! Crisp (still unstained, hole-free) clothes are laid out on the bed. Fresh pencils are sharpened. There's a general buzz of excitement in the air as my kids fill brand new backpacks with empty notebooks, the blank pages just waiting to be filled with class notes (okay, fine - and mostly doodles).

I get a weird, school-supply-geek high from seeing all the glue sticks, boxes of tissues and unused pens spread out on the dining room table at the end of August. We haven't yet sunken into the November doldrums or started complaining about homework; the school year is still stretched out before us, full of promise, like a neatly organized box of 64 washable markers that still have all their caps.

However, actually doing the back-to-school shopping is a different story.


Find out why I love - and hate - back to school shopping on momdotme, and let me know if you agree!


I hope you enjoyed yourself while you were here - and I hope you come back! Please share inappropriate giggles with me on Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook, or subscribe via email so you don't miss a thing - and so I don't get all lonely. I get extra-pathetic when I'm lonely.


I'm Not a Perfect Parent

I'm going to say something very shocking right now.

I'm not a perfect parent.

It's true! I know, hard to believe. But, I'm trying to be better every day.

No, wait. That's a lie.

Here's the real truth that no one wants to say, including me - I'm not a perfect parent, but I can't claim I really try to be better every day. Not really. That's a sentiment for an inspirational quote on Pinterest, not for real life. In real life, I do want to be better every day. And, like most parents, I end many days feeling guilty about the various ways I wish I had done a better job. Been more patient. Stopped to play more. Communicated more clearly. Listened. But can I honestly say I do something about it every day?

Nope.

Because then tomorrow comes and the same stresses are there, the same triggers, the same responsibilities, the same issues that caused problems yesterday. And I continue dealing with them using the same parenting tools I had the day before.

I am not a perfect parent - on MomAssembly by Robyn Welling @RobynHTV


For example, I live with a toddler. She's sweet as apple pie, but she does like to test boundaries, because... toddler. And I'll admit that, on occasion (frequently), I'll give in to her third (and fifth, and forty-seventh) demand for "just one more" because, frankly, I lack the energy to argue about it and I could never really see a way to enforce the limit I'd set (such as, "Hey, probably 82 pieces of gum is enough for one day") without dealing with a giant tantrum.

I am not a fan of tantrums.

But that's okay, because I'll be dealing with fewer of them now. Now, I have MomAssembly.



Co-founded in 2012 by Jill Spivack and Jen Waldburger, MomAssembly is an interactive online video-education site, where you can go any time, day or night, to get real, expert advice on exactly the topics you need (like power struggles, sleep problems, first aid, discipline and raising kids in the digital age, to name a few) in nearly 50 video courses. Each one has a short clip you can watch to see if it's right for you, and the courses are broken down into 5-10 minute classes - so you can fit them into your schedule easily.

I'm not kidding when I say these courses blew my mind. They explain what to do, how to do it, and why to do it in terms that have truly given me "ah-ha" moments that will change the way I parent.

So, after putting Madeline to bed one night (which involved "just one more story" about 400 times) I turned on a course about setting limits and making them stick. They set up some awfully (painfully) familiar parenting scenarios, and since I'm a skeptic deep in my cold, dark heart, I was thinking, "Okay, let's see how they expect us to get out of this kid's argument!" Ten minutes later I was like, "OH, YOU CAN DO IT WITHOUT ARGUING?!?!?"

Seriously. It sounds super dumb when I type it out like that, but they actually had a realistic way to handle setting limits and STICKING TO THEM that didn't result in freak outs (from toddler or Mom). Here's a clip so you can see what I mean:


Even if your toddler never tests your limits (hahahahahahaha - liar) there's sure to be a course you'll love, and you can start with a free trial to decide if you want a monthly subscription. They have courses (browse them here) that cover birth through age five, plus some just for mom and dad. And lucky you, if you're one of the first 10 folks to sign up here, you'll get a free month! You'll just need to sign up for a plan first, then you'll be notified by Jill or Jen if you've won at the end of your free trial period. So what're you waiting for?

Disclaimer: I was compensated for this post, but the opinions and the new-found peace in my household are all my own.

I hope you enjoyed yourself while you were here - and I hope you come back! Please share inappropriate giggles with me on Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook, or subscribe via email so you don't miss a thing - and so I don't get all lonely. I get extra-pathetic when I'm lonely.


26 Unfortunate Parenting Truths

Parenting has its share of happy moments, of funny things that toddlers say and sweet cuddles with a book at bedtime. I would say it's 90 percent completely awesome, give or take a handful of tantrums.

But no one — and I mean no one — expects it to be perfect all the time. They know there will be fights, food feuds and frustrations. So many frustrations.

But not just the obvious ones, like the complete and utter lack of sleep or logic you deal with on the daily. Moms and dads also encounter a surprising number of smaller, unavoidable frustrations, like Murphy's Laws that are unique to parenting.

You know about Murphy's Law, right? The theory that anything that can go wrong, will? Yes, of course you do — soon enough, all parents know it, because they live with it every day.

Don't think so? Consider the funny, universal parenting truths I wrote about over on mom.me: 26 Murphy's Laws of Parenting!



I hope you enjoyed yourself while you were here - and I hope you come back! Please share inappropriate giggles with me on Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook, or subscribe via email so you don't miss a thing - and so I don't get all lonely. I get extra-pathetic when I'm lonely.


Boogie Down for a chance to #win!



You guys know I don't do giveaways very often, so when I do, you know it's good. I'm not getting compensated for this post, I just figured you probably like $50 gift cards. Plus I seriously love Boogie Wipes thanks to the fact that they keep my kids from scream-complaining when I wipe their crusty noses, so I figured you'd probably like a chance to win those, too. (I hear they're also great for makeup removal, but I haven't had time to apply makeup since before Boogie Wipes were invented, so I'm just taking the Internet's word on that one.)

In celebration of Great Grape Boogie Wipes being sold at Walmart, I'm teaming up with Boogie Wipes to offer the Great Grape Summer Giveaway!

It's a Great Grape Summer celebration! Enter to Win a $50 Walmart gift card and a Boogie Wipes prize pack. One winner each week for the next 8 weeks. Enter now!

One winner will be drawn each week for the next eight weeks and will receive a $50 Walmart gift card and a Boogie Wipes prize pack.

How to Enter

From following some of our favorite bloggers on social media to instagramming a picture of your Great Grape purchase at Walmart, there are dozens of ways to enter - and a few ways to enter every single day.

Check back throughout the next eight weeks to enter again below and see if you won!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Want to have more fun this summer?

Visit the Boogie Wipes blog for all sorts of summer fun ideas - including Sidewalk Chalk Recipes, Crafts and Games to Play with Pool Noodles and DIY Board Games (for when it rains).

Good luck!

Giveaway is live Tuesday, July 8, 2014 until midnight on Tuesday, September 2, 2014. US and Canada residents only. One winner will be chosen each week and will be notified via email. Hollow Tree Ventures received no compensation for sponsoring this event, and is not responsible for the delivery of the prize. Prize delivery is the sold responsibility of Boogie Wipes.

I hope you enjoyed yourself while you were here - and I hope you come back! Please share inappropriate giggles with me on Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook, or subscribe via email so you don't miss a thing - and so I don't get all lonely. I get extra-pathetic when I'm lonely.


Things That Have Lasted Longer Than Kim and Kanye's Marriage: Parenting Edition

Congrats to "KimYe" (she said, as if she were totally hip to Internet lingo)! The couple just recently beat Kim Kardashian's previous marriage record of an impressive 72 days. However, as great as that is for Kim and Kanye, parents still aren't really all that impressed yet - we'll celebrate when their vows have outlasted some of these things.

Kardashian marriage versus parenting by Robyn Welling @RobynHTV

Teething
Terrible Twos
Even More Terrible Threes
Post Lice-Outbreak Paranoia
A Kidz Bop CD
A 5-Year-Old Making Her Own Peanut Butter Sandwich
The Stomach Flu That Was Going Around
Tantrums Caused By The BLUE Cup Being Dirty
Searches For Lost Blankies
An Episode of Caillou
Weaning
Second-Grade Music Concert
Assembling a Crib
Cutting Your Kid's Bangs Straight
Explanations of How Minecraft Works
A Typical Wait at the Pediatrician's Office
The Pain In Your Finger When You Pinch It In the Car Seat Buckle
Getting a Baby Into a Onesie
Getting a Toddler Into Snow Pants
A Child Deciding Which Flavor of Ice Cream To Order
Figuring Out "Who Started It"
Calming a Child's Fear Of Auto-Flush Toilets
Mopping Up Hawaiian Punch
PTA Meetings
Locating Your Child's Left Flip Flop
Applying Sunscreen
Cleaning Up After a Diaper Blow-Out
Pretty Much Anything

I hope you enjoyed yourself while you were here - and I hope you come back! Please share inappropriate giggles with me on Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook, or subscribe via email so you don't miss a thing - and so I don't get all lonely. I get extra-pathetic when I'm lonely.