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Hollow Tree Ventures parenting humor
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How To Wine Your Way Through Football Season

Whether you're a huge football fan or you don't even know a touch pass from the score zone (both of which are probably very real things, I'm pretty sure), football season is here. For many folks, that means it's time to watch their favorite teams battle it out and, more importantly, it's time to stuff their faces with classic tailgating foods like nachos and chicken wings.

See? Even if you don't like football, there's always something to love about football season. Mmm, nachos...

But if you want to class football season up a few notches, whether you're watching the game in your living room or at a tailgating party, you'll want to bring along your BFF.

By BFF, of course, I mean wine.

Oh yeah, I said it. You don't have to love beer OR crush the cans against your forehead to enjoy a few drinks during the game! Keep it classy by pairing the right wine with your football food.

WAIT, THERE'S A WINE THAT GOES WITH CHILI?!?

Oh yes, my friend; I've partnered up with my buddies at WineFix to help you find the perfect vino for things like...

RIBS
Is any tailgate complete without a sampling of ribs? I don’t think so. Nothing says you’re a serious tailgater like smoky bbq sauce under your fingernails, and nothing complements that sauce like a hearty Lambrusco. While the sweet notes of the church wine will send you to bbq rib heaven, there’s always room at the rib table for a Cuvee or a Zin. It’s really just a matter of personal preference and availability.

See? Easy peasy, deliciouseezy. Fine, that didn't rhyme, but you'll forgive me once you read the rest of my wine picks here, which I assure you I researched thoroughly with my taste buds. And my liver. *hic* NOW LET'S GO WATCH SOME WINEBALL or whatever it's called.




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!


Can you survive cold season with kids?


Cough and cold season is here, and I'm teaming up with Boogie Wipes and Saline Soothers to help you and your family feel better faster with a Cough & Cold Giveaway.

When Kids Get Sick

From the first sniffle to feeling downright sick, Boogie Wipes has tips, tricks and hacks to guide you through the entire cough and cold season (including great information on how to keep germs from spreading between siblings!)

Click here to read through their cough and cold survival guide and be prepared for the season.

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When YOU Get Sick

It's bad enough when your kids aren't feeling well, but when you aren't feeling well, it's downright miserable. While there's no cure for the common cold, Saline Soothers Nose Wipes provide soothing comfort for sore noses with Natural Saline, Vitamin E, Aloe and Chamomile.

Click here to learn more about Saline Soothers and grab a coupon.

where-to-purchase

It All Comes Down to Saline

Whether you reach for Saline Soothers or grab your kids' Boogie Wipes, it all comes down to Natural Saline. The Natural Saline in both products dissolves mucus, while the Vitamin E, Aloe and Chamomile soothe and comfort even the most sensitive skin. Click here to learn more about the benefits of all-natural saline.

Enter to Win!

Stock up on your cough and cold supplies so you're ready when sickness strikes this season. Complete the form below to enter to win! (Click here to enter if you do not see the form.)

One winner will be randomly chosen to receive Boogie Wipes, Saline Soothers, Burt's Bees cough drops, Purell hand sanitizer, DavidsTea Cold 911 tea and color-changing mug, plus a $100 Target gift card.


Giveaway ends on Monday, November 21, 2016 at 11:59 pm ET. Giveaway is open to residents in US and Canada over the age of 18. If winner lives in Canada, alternate gift card will be provided of same value.

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!


20 Things You Never Want To Hear From Your Kids

Of course you want your kids to hit developmental speech and hearing milestones and openly communicate with you, but let’s face it—you don’t want them to communicate EVERYTHING, lol. Here’s a funny list of things you don’t ever want to hear your kids say, as well as some valuable information and resources for parents to help recognize signs of hearing loss in children and find ways to potentially help them hear better. | Cochlear | ad | IWantYouToHear

There are few things as important to parents as communication with our kids. From the time they’re born we can’t wait to hear what they’re thinking—like what’s going on in their heads when they spend 20 minutes laughing crazily at a beam of sunshine, and why do they insist on eating random things they find on the sidewalk?!? We want them to understand us when we say, “Don’t put your gum on the dinner table—this is why we can’t have nice things!” and for them to be able to just tell us what’s bothering them instead of screaming inconsolable toddler-babble about it for two hours straight.

Of course I’m kidding (sort of); what we’re really waiting for are the I-love-yous and the bedtime songs, we’re listening for coos and babbles to evolve into mama and dada. Eventually we hope to be lucky enough for them to grow into tweens and teens who continue to tell us what’s bothering them, and who understand us when we say, “Seriously, stop putting your gum on the table—this is why we STILL can’t have nice things!”

But with the good comes the not-so-good, and all too quickly we learn that every conversation isn’t going to be sunshine and rainbows. As much as we love the idea of communicating with our kids, there are some things we just never want to hear.

20 THINGS YOU NEVER WANT TO HEAR FROM YOUR KIDS:

45-minute recaps of their favorite cartoons.
A request for you not to look in the toilet for...uh...no particular reason.
“My sock is lumpy.”
“I can’t find my shoe.”
“I don’t need to go potty, I just peed in the pool!”
A reminder it was your turn to bring a class snack...as you’re dropping them off at school.
Four-letter words they weren’t supposed to overhear.
In-depth descriptions of bodily functions.
Any confession involving permanent marker and a sibling’s face.
An honest opinion about your new haircut.
One of those knock knock jokes that never seem to end.
Racy lyrics to a song that, in your defense, they really should have edited for radio.
Any indication they’ve noticed that the store you’re in has a toy aisle.
News that the class pet is coming home with them over spring break.
“Mommy, I dropped my toy again” coming from the backseat, 372 times in a row.
An unsolicited reassurance that the cat is fine.
“Look, I cut my own hair!”
“Uh oh, I don’t feel so good…”
“...BRING ME THE PUKE BUCKET!”
Unexplained silence.

The silence can be especially terrifying, since it tends to signal that your kid is off somewhere painting the dog purple or unloading the Tupperware drawer into the toilet. But it can be scary for another reason, too.

When my now 14-year-old was about six, he gradually stopped responding to me when I called his name. He was always a pretty studious kid, so at first I assumed he was so absorbed in what he was doing that he’d blocked everything else out. Okay, maybe I also wondered if he was just plain old ignoring my pleas to get him to eat dinner or get ready for bed.

Eventually I started to realize something was really wrong...and that’s when the unexplained silence that had become his usual response started getting scary. He didn’t seem to hear me at all if he wasn’t looking straight at me, and when I did get his attention he’d lean in closely and study my lips when I talked. I was afraid his hearing had been impacted by the fact that he was born three months premature; he’d already outgrown the few developmental delays he’d dealt with after birth, but occasionally some other complication would arise. What if hearing loss was one of them?

So I took him to the doctor, and (luckily) discovered the issue was caused by fluid trapped in his ears; after surgery and the insertion of tubes, his hearing returned to normal. His speech development was still impacted though, and he needed speech therapy for a few years in school. The influence hearing has on hitting communication milestones is no joke, people.



If you find yourself in a similar situation, notice language delays, or see any signs your kid might have trouble hearing, get to a doctor or hearing specialist (you can easily find one on Cochlear’s IWantYouToHear.com website) right away for a diagnosis. Even if you don’t have a relatively simple fix like ours, cochlear implants might be able to help improve your child’s hearing.

In operation for over 30 years, Cochlear is the global leader in implantable hearing solutions, providing products (cochlear implants and bone conduction), and helping over 450,000 people worldwide have access to sound. They’re passionate about connecting parents to resources, support, and information on hearing loss—and if you decide cochlear implants are right for you and your child, they become a lifelong partner in finding and updating solutions that work for you.

As I experienced after my son’s surgery, there’s nothing on earth like the wide-eyed look you get from your child when they clearly hear your voice again for the first time in a long time (or for the first time ever). Just prepare yourself for the fact that opening up the lines of communication can mean I-love-yous and bedtime songs, but it also means opening yourself up to lengthy conversations about Pokemon.

It’s totally worth it, though.


Of course you want your kids to hit developmental speech and hearing milestones and openly communicate with you, but let’s face it—you don’t want them to communicate EVERYTHING, lol. Here’s a funny list of things you don’t ever want to hear your kids say, as well as some valuable information and resources for parents to help recognize signs of hearing loss in children and find ways to potentially help them hear better. | Cochlear | ad | IWantYouToHear




This post made possible through the support of Cochlear. All opinions and toilet-water-soaked Tupperware are 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!


37 Ways To Fail At Perfection


If you've spent much time on this planet, at some point or another you've felt pressure to be perfect. Maybe that pressure was coming from someone else, and maybe it was coming from within yourself—a little teenage-you voice inside your head telling you that a pimple on the end of your nose was the end of the world, or a mom-you voice saying that you should do more baking or crafting or that you should actually be able to remember all your kid's friends' moms' names, which frankly I don't even think is scientifically possible—but one way or another we've all felt the pressure to be more. Be better. Be perfect.

But nobody is perfect, so at some point we've also all failed miserably at trying.

Here are just a few examples of ways I might be failing at perfection on any given day of the week (most of them on days during this particular current week):
  1. Brought a class snack to school on the wrong day.
  2. Couldn't fight my way back out of my Spanx.
  3. Hemmed my daughter's pants, but somehow managed to sew the legs together instead.
  4. Asked my kid how to use Snapchat, which apparently is about as lame as you can possibly be while attempting to be cool.
  5. Then was reminded by my kid that he's not allowed to use Snapchat.
  6. Wore the perfect shade of lipstick...on my teeth.
  7. Made a beautiful, Pinterest-inspired dinner that tasted disgusting.
  8. Took 857 attempts to get one decent holiday family photo.
  9. Wore some sexy new jeans—then got home and realized there's a sparkly My Little Pony sticker on my butt.
  10. Told my husband a really funny story because I knew it would make him laugh. Which it did. The day before, when he'd told the story to me.
Okay, so if you're counting (and still remember the title of this post), you'll notice that I didn't actually list 37 ways to fail at perfection.

But I have a good reason for that.

YOU GUYS. If you've been here for a while, you're not going to believe this.

Remember how, a million years ago, I used to be a writer?

Well brace yourselves, because...I still am.

I KNOW. Based on the fact that I only put up a new post here once every eighteenth blue moon and I suck on ice about linking to articles I write on other sites, you probably thought I forgot how to computer.

But I do still write, and in fact, I'm in a new book that's being released today!!!

It's all about people's attempts to be perfect—and their hilariously spectacular failures.

Thirty seven of them, to be exact.

My essay in the book goes all the way back to when I was in my early twenties. It starts off like this:


We all feel pressure to be perfect from time to time—and we can all agree that our inevitable failure is hilarious. I Just Want to Be Perfect (the 4th book in the New York Times Bestselling I Just Want to Pee Alone series) is the funny book about learning to embrace our perfect imperfections. It's a PERFECT choice for your book club, LOL escape, or summer beach read!

And then it goes downhill from there. Or uphill, depending on how much you like stories about people who lose their eyebrows thanks to questionable dating choices.

I realize now that makes it sound like I ended up dating the nymphomaniac. Let me be very clear that I DID NOT DATE THE NYMPHOMANIAC. The nymphomaniac did, however, give me a very heartfelt and oddly religious Christmas card as I was moving out of that apartment, even though we had never spoken to each other before that moment and I'm pretty sure it wasn't near Christmas.

But that's a different story for another time. Back to the book!

If you've ever tried to be perfect and failed, you're not alone. In this humorous collection of stories, 37 women detail their misguided quest for perfection and the epic failures that result. Get your copy of I Just Want to Be Perfect (the fourth book in the best-selling series) today, and laugh along with us at the silly and impossible pursuit of perfection.

Yes, it's available RIGHT THIS VERY MINUTE, so go pick up a copy (or several) right now! It'll probably be the most perfect thing you do all day.

AWESOME CONTRIBUTORS:

Jen Mann - People I Want to Punch in the Throat / I Just Want to Pee Alone

Bethany Kriger Thies - Bad Parenting Moments

Deva Nicole Dalporto - MyLifeSuckers

Julianna Wesby Miner - Rants From Mommyland

Lola Lolita - SammichesPsychMeds / MockMom

Kim Bongiorno - Let Me Start By Saying

Alyson Herzig - The Shitastrophy

Kathryn Leehane - Foxy Wine Pocket

Harmony Hobbs - Modern Mommy Madness

Erin Dwyer Dymowski - Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

Tara Wood - Love Morning Wood

Kelcey Kintner - The Mama Bird Diaries

Lisa René LeClair - Sassypiehole

Joelle Wisler - Joelle Wisler, Writer

Christine McDevitt Burke - Keeper of The Fruit Loops

Meredith Spidel - The Mom of the Year

Meredith Gordon - Bad Sandy

Nicole Leigh Shaw - NicoleLeighShaw.com

Allison Hart - Motherhood, WTF?

Jennifer Lizza - Outsmarted Mommy

Suzanne Fleet - Toulouse and Tonic

AK Turner - Vagabonding with Kids

Robyn Welling - Hollow Tree Ventures

Ashley Fuchs - The Malleable Mom

Kim Forde - The Fordeville Diaries

E.R. Catalano - Zoe vs. the Universe

Chrissy Woj - Quirky Chrissy

Stacey Gill - One Funny Motha

Wendi Aarons - wendiaarons.com

Jen Simon – jensimonwriter.com

Janel Mills - 649.133: Girls, the Care and Maintenance Of.

Jessica Azar - Herd Management

Susanne Kerns -The Dusty Parachute

Audrey Hayworth - Sass Mouth

Hedia Anvar - Gunmetal Geisha

Christine Organ - christineorgan.com

Shya Gibbons - ShyaGibbons

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!


The Ultimate Automated Dial-In Menu For Moms

Motherhood can be hard, but this hilarious dial-in menu for moms can help you deal with all those kids' pesky problems and crazy complaints. Too funny—you'll LOL at number 6!


As much as I hate getting stuck on the phone with a robotic voice every time I try to call the cable company, I understand why it’s a necessary evil. I mean, they can’t possibly have a real person field millions of random requests and complaints 24 hours a day!

Hmmm…. who else does that? Oh right! Moms.

Wouldn’t it be nice if moms could set up our own automated menu to sort through the constant demands from our kids? To decide which ones are legitimate requests in need of real live help and which ones can be answered just as easily by a robot?

HERE’S WHAT IT WOULD SOUND LIKE:

Ring, ring, ring…

Thank you for calling your mother. Your call is very important to me…unless I haven’t had coffee yet, in which case back away slowly and try your call again later. I’m sorry I can’t come to the phone right now, but considering I’m probably busy cleaning your pee off the bathroom floor or washing the laundry you crammed between your bed and the wall, I’m doing the best I can. Please listen carefully to the following menu; your issue will be resolved in the order in which it was received, provided no one drops the phone in the toilet before then.

If you want mac and cheese, press 1.

If you want mac and cheese but I’ve basically ruined your life by serving it to you in the wrong bowl, please press 1 really hard and hold it down until I get you a new bowl or go insane, whichever comes first.

Check out the rest on Mommy Shorts!

Motherhood can be hard, but this hilarious dial-in menu for moms can help you deal with all those kids' pesky problems and crazy complaints. Too funny—you'll LOL at number 6!



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!