Archive for the 'Work + Kids' Category

You Almost Lost Me Last Night

Friday, November 3rd, 2006

Although this post is a little dramatic, I mean it when I say you almost lost me last night - as in, my whole family and could have easily died.

Our whole house was filled with carbon monoxide at 2:00am.

Thankfully I was actually up and working on a deadline and didn’t sleep through the CO2 alarms going off - which we stupidly only had installed in the furthest-from-our-bedroom basement corner of our home.

PLEASE ensure you have CO Detectors (an affiliate link - but I would feel better if you got them now at a local store) installed and working in your homes today. According to our (wonderful!) local fire department:

eMom is happy her kids are safe!If you start showing signs of Carbon Monoxide poisoning while you are sleeping, you can be guaranteed you won’t wake up.

The most important place to put a CO2 detector is near your bedrooms. We had dangerously high levels on the top floor of the house, but our CO2 detector that I placed on the middle floor never went off (because I didn’t trust the first reading from an older detector in the basement :: dumb).

Signs of Carbon Monoxide poisoning include nausea, headaches, vomiting and flu-like symptoms. The key difference between the flu and CO2 poisoning is that the whole family will come down with it at once - whereas the flu knocks over family members one at a time.

If your CO2 detectors go off, call 911 right away (though I have in the past turned them off and they didn’t go on again - I’m thinking that wasn’t the smartest move now…)

Here’s a link to the full Wikipedia article on Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Please be safe and keep your families safe too. I was lazy and had 2 CO2 detectors sitting in the store bag for months. I assure you today they are working and in their proper places.

Do the same and make sure you have a CO2 detector for every level of your house. And SPREAD the word - having these detectors in your home is now a law in most states, anyway!


*Edit* For those of you who are curious, I am still sitting in a very cold house as I wait on the second professional to come out to our house and figure out what the problem is. The gas co. and fire department seemed pretty confident there was something blocking the flue. The hvac guy I just had out here wasn’t able to find anything in the flue, nor able to figure out a furnace problem without charging us a lot of $$. I’m now waiting for a chimney sweep to come out and check the flue more thoroughly…

The wonderful chimney sweeping company found two dead squirrels in the flue - we are all clean and finally safely warming up!
I am so happy and grateful, not much can bother me today :)

“Don’t Blog this Mom, but…”

Thursday, November 2nd, 2006

We went out to dinner last weekend at Olive Garden. Although my kids would rather go elsewhere, my hubby and I love it there. He especially loves Olive Garden because they have pepperoncini in their salads.

Now, it’s not that he likes peppers, in fact, he hates them. What he DOES like [love!] to do is taunt our almost-12-year-old daughter with pepperoncini-eating dares, such as:

“Eat four of these peppers soaked in Tabasco Sauce and I’ll take you to GameStop“.

All I do is give her the “look”. The “look” says “You would be flipping CRAZY to listen to your father at this moment - but if you do it, negotiate a hell of a lot more out of him than a simple trip to GameStop!!”.

Thankfully, she didn’t do it (but only because my hubby wasn’t willing to give her $100). What she DID do next, though, really caught me off guard.

My 12 Year Old Mini-MeShe prefaced a question she wanted to ask with, “Please don’t blog this mom, but…”

And then she proceeded to ask me an embarrassing question.

Lest you think I am going to spill the beans on her, I’m not. But the question was rather anti-climatic - one of those things that would only bother a 12-year old anyway.

It was one of those time/brain-twisting moments when I realized I couldn’t even conceive of having this kind of conversation with my own mother when I was 12! I didn’t really know how to react because I had NO references in my own experience to respond to a kid who didn’t want her embarrassing moments blogged about for the world to see!

It got me wondering about what our kids will be capable of when they are sitting in the middle of a restaurant with their own 12 year olds in the future.

If little Alexandra McDaniel (via) is setting the pace for our children, us parents had better get our game on!

And I’m curious - all you parents out there - what do your kids think of your blogs? Do they even care? Do any of them maintain their own blogs? And how has blogging impacted family life? Please share!!

Kiddley, Dooce & Pronet :: You’ve Been BlogTipped!

Wednesday, November 1st, 2006

Ah - the joys of BlogTipping. So many great blogs… so little time!

The BlogTipping tradition? Pick three blogs. Say three great things. Offer one tip. I’m taking a more minimalistic approach this time, simply because life in eMoms-land is awfully busy these days!


  1. They have great content - really fun projects that I would *want* to do with my kids - nice!
  2. The site is one of the prettiest blogs I have seen (and I am a sucker for pretty!). Your site would be pretty too if your Chief Editor was a phenomenal illustrator too!
  3. For a ‘commercial’ blog, you have done a great job of keeping the layout clean and easy to read - I’m impressed.

Tip :: I’d love to see more projects for older kids - my daughter is turning 12 this week and still loves to craft. It’s getting harder to find things she would be interested in doing. Help!


  1. Heather, I LOVE your work. I don’t know HOW you take so much crap from your readers and turn it into the most delightfully hysterical stuff I have ever read.
  2. Your photographs are phenomenal - and so crisp and sharp. Even at high res I can’t get my camera to take such great pictures. Must be the photographer… :)
  3. You’ve done such a great job monetizing your blog - I know my readers would love to pick your brain on the subject. If you ever decide to write a post about it please let me know!! (We would settle comment though… just askin’ ;) )

Tip :: Keep your heart in the right place woman, and remember Psychology 101. Your not-so-favorite readers are doing what’s called Projection. It’s “a defense mechanism in which the individual attributes to other people impulses and traits that he himself has but cannot accept. It is especially likely to occur when the person lacks insight into his own impulses and traits.” Thanks to for the definition. (So, yes, the religious fanatics are basically jealous that John gets to touch your breasts. Go figure!)

Pronet Advertising

  1. I think I picked all three blogs this month based on what great designs they have - your blog has a unique template that I love. Nicely done!!!
  2. You offer great tangible blogging info and I really respect you for that - and you are definitely my goto source for understanding Digg.
  3. I didn’t realize you had such a big section on Analytics. I’m usually a big picture thinker, but I LOVE web analytics. I’ll be spending more time there to read what you have to say on the subject.

Tip :: I am a scanner and scan fast to determine whether I want to stick around and read more. Although I love the layout of your home page, I would invite you to consider having more than 4 story headlines for new readers to review. I have been a reader for a while, so I know to dig around and find good posts. Newbies to your site might not give you the benefit of the doubt (or might, as you DO have an impressive Alexa going on!!)

Speaking of Self Esteem…

Thursday, September 7th, 2006

Since I just blogged yesterday about self esteem (and the resulting loss of it in my past!!), I just had to throw up a quick post to give a shout out to Aurelia Williams.

Aurelia has several posts on her blog that discuss a subject that is so timely - and perfect for us parents - Self Esteem for Children!!

Her (really useful) tips post can be found here and she sends her readers to a great book on the subject here.

Great stuff, Aurelia! :)

Work Life Balance - An Exhaustive Post!

Friday, September 1st, 2006

Welcome to the September Edition of the Carnival of Home Business! The theme of the month is Work Life Balance - and I have SO many good submissions that for the first time I had to figure out how to create a multi-page post in Wordpress!!

(Though some of my readers will likely point out I should have figured this out long ago - ‘Doh!!)

In all there are a whopping 21 posts in this edition, and I have broken them down into four subject categories:

Page 2 is all about Success Strategies and the Right Attitude

Page 3 gets you goin’ with Work Life Balance Tips and Productivity

Page 4 rides the roller coaster with Goals and Pitfalls

Page 5 is on Home Based Business and Kids - way more entertaining than changing poopy a diaper

And for my regular readers, this will replace my usual MVP (Most Valuable Post) of the week post, simply because these are darn valuable posts!!

Sad that you missed the chance to submit an article to this edition of the Carnival of Home Business? Then be sure to jump on the bandwagon the next time around as we feature the theme “Pricing Strategy and Getting Paid”, which will be hosted at
Onto the festivities!! …

Proof Positive that ANYONE can Become a Good Writer

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2006

I sent my two older kids to their first day of school this morning. There’s something exciting, albeit short-lived, about going back to school. My kids couldn’t sleep last night (and neither could I after dropping nearly $900 on school supplies and new clothes for three growing kids)!

It always reminds me of my own school days. Last weekend, we had a family get together at my brother’s house. My parents had found a box of my old school papers, including yearbooks and assignments I brought home. They presented me with this box of memories, and I found proof positive that anyone can become a good writer.

Let’s first take a look at me when I was about 9 years old, to set expectations appropriately:

Wendy's First Day of School

The dress I can handle:: sort of. You can’t see the wild hair in this reproduction, but UGH. And the workboots? Don’t ask, because I think I blocked it from my memory.

NOW, let’s take a look at some of the poems unearthed from my parents’ attic:

The Boy From Denver

There once was a boy from Denver
Who had a crush on Pam Henver
He picked up her math book
She gave him a bad look
And now he likes Dawn Tenver

Or perhaps this little ditty:

The Girl From France

There once was a girl from France
Who always wore jeans and tight pants
She looked at Dan,
And said, “Oh, Man!”
Now she is divorced with Vance

Oh, god, I’m laughing so hard I am having a hard time typing. But wait! It gets worse! And now, drrrruuummmm rrrrollllll please, for perhaps the worst poem of all time:


Pictures make you look so weird
They made my brother have a beard

My brother is only eight years old
And all my pictures are covered with mold

When the flash is wrong, your eyes are red
They also kill pesky bugs dead

They killed my favorite spider plant
‘Cause it wasn’t a nasty witches chant

We heard the chant on T.V. last night
And boy! It was really a fright!

I kid you not. Methinks I have just peed in my pants.

So there you go. From the bowels of Wendy Piersall’s writing history, I can now firmly say this is proof positive that if you think you write poorly, you are sorely mistaken after reading my early writings. Anything is better than this stuff!

MVPs for Friday August 18th

Friday, August 18th, 2006

I’m going to start a MVP Series - Most Valuable Posts of the week. Today I’m going to participate in ProBlogger’s Group List Writing Project - even though the email gods ate my own submission - not just once, but twice!! Even without my wise words included (ha!) Darren had over 300 articles submitted. Wow. There were some AMAZING posts submitted to this wonderful community blogging event, and I really wanted to share some highlights with you.

On Blogging:

The Problem with Writing . . . 25 Things to Know BEFORE You Write for a Living by Liz Strauss
“Every morning I get up and write blog posts . Then I go do my other writing work. I’ve been writing for a living for very long time. So I feel qualified to write this post. It’s not a rant. It’s a list. It’s a set of things that folks who think they might want to write for a living ought to know before they blindly follow their dream…”

10 Ways to Feature Crucial Posts by BlogFresh
“Like many blogs, this is a two-pronged blog….. There are the “hey did you see?” posts that steer readers & subscribers to interesting content elsewhere in the blogosphere, & then there’s the more substantial, meaty, original posts that we want you to read, inwardly digest, and act upon by adopting the suggested hack or exploring the reviewed service! So… how can bloggers (ourselves included) feature and draw attention to certain content within our blogs, & keep critical content alive once it falls off the front page…”

On Parenting:

10 Steps to a Happier Mealtime with Kids by Be a Good Dad
“Mealtimes with kids can be rough if you forget how to keep things under control. Most of the best tricks involve getting everybody focused on eating and talking calmly. Here are ten keys that we focus on when the kids start to get a little out of control at mealtime…”

The top ten traumas of my childhood by Matt Dinniman
“Here is a list of the top-ten most traumatizing experiences of my childhood. While I have had my share of adult-grade horror, I left those items out. With the exception of the top three…”

On Parenting AND Blogging!:

The Secret to Blogging and Baby Poop by Daddy Forever
“Your blog may be your baby, but taking care of a baby is not like blogging. The secret to being a good parent and blogger is knowing the difference between the two. Here are ten ways blogging and parenting are different…”

On Business and Entreprenurialism:

Starting your own business? Keep these things in mind! by Exec Admin Solutions
“Have you ever met someone who hears you have your own business, and immediately they launch into what they dream being a business owner is?  Sleeping in, watching Springer, getting a tan, Shopping…..  If only!”

And my personal favorite for the week:

Top 10 Ways to Get a Technorati Top 100 Blogger to Link to Your Blog or Website
by Solostream Webstudio
ROFLMAO! And he got TWO Top 100 Blogger links from the post!


Working at Home is a Love Hate Thing…

Tuesday, August 8th, 2006

Well, maybe “hate” is too strong of a word.

But here are the things I L-O-V-E about working from home, and the things that kind of suck.

I Love:

  1. Being able to follow my dreams in my own business
  2. Having so much extra time with my kids when they are little
  3. Finding so many ways to add value to people’s lives through my business
  4. Setting aside time every week to take the kids to the farmer’s market, the library, the pool in the summertime and sledding in the wintertime
  5. Being able to go boating frequently because I don’t need my weekends to get caught up on “life stuff”
  6. The ability to meet my husband for lunch whenever I darn well feel like it
  7. Getting the chance to get to know so many other work at home professionals who I learn from every day
  8. Actually having a schedule that allows for sick kids, soccer games, and a quick trip to Target just for fun (I would marry Target if it were a man!)
  9. Having time to volunteer for CIMA events and projects
  10. Being able to transform two prior business letdowns into a really wonderful gift for others

I really don’t love:

  1. Tracking business expenses. Boring!
  2. Business taxes. Just the thought makes me feel guilty, even though I haven’t done anything wrong!
  3. Not socializing and networking in person with other adults on a regular basis
  4. Cash flow - and lack of it at times
  5. Dealing with technical issues. I want to write and promote, dammit!
  6. Having to tell my kids I’m too busy to play with them right now
  7. Having to work on a big project in a house that is messy at times. I can’t focus!
  8. Kids fighting in the background when I am on the phone with an important person
  9. Not getting into downtown Chicago very much anymore (I love downtown!)
  10. Getting sucked into reading too many blogs when I need to be working!

But it’s ALL worth it because:

  1. My kids hands down prefer that I am here with them rather than being in school/daycare (and they really like school and daycare!!)
  2. I am making a difference in people’s lives with the content I am writing and the coaching/mentoring I am doing
  3. I am finally doing the job/career I was put on this earth to do
  4. My husband and I have a great relationship that I have more time to enjoy
  5. I get to hug, tickle, laugh with and hug my kids whenever I want (did I mention hug?)
  6. I have the time to take on projects that contribute to the communities I participate in
  7. I have more balance in my life than I have ever experienced before
  8. Every career move I have made, every mistake I have made, and every problem I have had in the past are now all of my most valuable assets and I cherish them
  9. My life is in line with my highest purpose, which took a l-o-n-g time to build up the courage to do
  10. I am in a position to help others do exactly the same thing!

Kelly Phillips Erb, You’ve Been BlogTipped!

Wednesday, August 2nd, 2006

I’m really excited to pull off this blogtip for the day - not only because it’s my last one (these BlogTipping posts, done right, take a LONG time to write!!) - but because I’m getting to tip one of the members of our new eMoms BlogJolt group! Kelly is a writer with some seriously hilarious posts. I wish I could share all the good jokes with you here, but then I would be stealing her thunder, so you can go read them for yourself over at Mommy Grows Up.

Onto the business of compliments…

  1. Kelly is a lawyer - very authentic, very full of heart, and very in touch with being a working mother. She self-reportedly brings her youngest child to work with her (you GO girl!), knows taxes like the back of her hand (I can’t even comprehend that you are capable of that, woman!), and calls it like it is in the courtroom (YES!!). I can tell just from reading a few of her legal posts she is the antithesis of any lawyer joke you can come up with - go on, try her!
  2. I l-o-v-e her willingness to be a strong proponent of breastfeeding - even when she doesn’t particularly enjoy it. But that’s only half of it - some of her posts on the subject are simply laugh out loud funny - you HAVE to read this one… ok, AND this one too!
  3. I can’t seem to get off of her “Sometimes I’m all about Mummy” category - there’s so much good stuff in there I could take up the rest of my night posting about it (though her writing deserves a sleepless night, I’m just not up for it!). If you want to read about everything Mom - the good, the bad, the ugly, and laugh about it all, run, don’t walk, to this section now!!

And now for the hardest part of blogtipping (because I chose really great blogs to tip this month!!). I’d have to say to beef up your About page - tell us more about this great woman behind the brilliantly funny writing. And make it prettier too, like you obviously are. :)

CowTipping…er, BLOGtipping (and Home Distractions…)

Tuesday, August 1st, 2006

Jumping on the social bandwagon once again, I am going cowtipping…. I mean BLOGtipping today. Bad joke, yes, but I can’t get the cowtipping phrase out of my mind this morning… must. drink. coffee.

What is BlogTipping, you ask? Well, I’ve had some fun reading a few entries this morning, it’s kind of a bit of link love and ‘tipping your hat’ to a blog you enjoy (as well as offering a tip as well - as in advice). Here’s a good one at CopyBlogger and at Business BlogWire. The simple format is to pass out three compliments, one piece of feedback (I prefer to call it an ‘invitation to grow’!), link to the blog (duh), and finally, be sure to tag your post with “blogtipping”.

Actually, I believe I must get to that drinking coffee part before I finish this post, because I am going to have some FUN with this! BRB…

Ah, the joys of working at home - skip this sidebar if you don’t care about what it’s like having your office in the midst of children, a messy house, and a massive startup plan for a new business…

I went to make coffee - only to find the sink full of dishes and I was unable to make enough room to wash a mug. So I stopped working and did a load of dishes.

Then the kids woke up, wanting breakfast [the nerve… ;) ]

Then my husband calls - reminding me it’s trash day - and I’m frantically lugging bag after bag to the curb because we have forgotten to put out trash for about 3 weeks. [yeugh!]

Then more emails come in, along with an opportunity to get more exposure for the BlogJolt group - so I HAVE to follow up on that immediately…

Good thing I am ADD otherwise this life would drive me bonkers!

On to Blog Tipping… but I have now decided that this post is so darn long in and of itself, I had better keep my content in my BlogTipping post concise to not irritate the rest of the blogosphere with my rants about my little work at home corner of the world… :)