In the flurry of house cleaning to get ready for our Superbowl party, I managed to break, destroy or damage the following things that are (er, were) dear to me:

  1. A piece of pottery that I made with a dear friend. It was a stupid little "monsta" that I made just for fun, but it made me smile thinking of her and the time we spent together at the pottery place every time I looked at it. RIP, Monsta, RIP.
  2. A beautifully framed photograph of Venice (one of our favorite places we've visited).
  3. A crystal ring holder that was given to me as a gift the same day my (now) husband gave me my engagement ring.
  4. My formal antique dining room chair. APPARENTLY you can't throw a wet rag with bleach on it over the back of an antique chair without the bleach eating the stain away and leaving a NICE "foggy" look on the back of the chair just in time for the Superbowl party this weekend and then Ella's first birthday party next weekend.

Go ahead. You can blame me for all this damage and destruction, but I say without a Superbowl none of this would've happened. NONE. OF. IT. Good thing there will be beer and food, because that's the ONLY thing that will make me forget about #4.



  • Apparently, people don't mind to video chat in public.

  • If you inadvertantly make eye contact with someone, they will spend 20 minutes talking to you about the wonders of technology.

  • There are still men who will make comments like, "Thank GOD I have a wife to take care of THAT!" when they hear a baby crying (NO it wasn't mine -- husband nor baby).

  • If you're a 60-something balding man, you might need to have a phone discussion to learn how to download MP3s.

  • The very nice "challenged" guy that works at Panera is a huge flirt (but he'll get you soft drink refills without you having to get up if you flirt back).

  • If you turn off all your social networking sites, you get a great deal accomplished.

  • Panera Sierra Turkey sandwiches are capital-A AWESOME!


Let me just put it right out there:
I'm mad at my friend Marilynn (but it won't matter since she doesn't read this blog, so I'm in the clear posting it. She'll just have to figure it out on her own).

APPARENTLY there's a product out there called DRY SHAMPOO. I've seen it on like FOUR shows over the past 2 weeks. It's Hollywood's "secret weapon" and EVERYONE uses it.

So WHY HAVE I NOT HEARD OF THIS BEFORE?!??! (And it would've come in handy more than a couple of times, let me tell you...).

The idea behind it is that girls shouldn't wash their hair everyday because it's bad for it (yeah, OK, whatever). So, you spray on this DRY SHAMPOO and it refreshes your hair and smells just like it's been washed (again, yeah, OK, whatever). According to Oscar Blandi Pronto Dry Shampoo,you can:

Refresh, revive, and recharge hair and scalp without water. Pronto is perfect for use between washings, in a rush, as a midday hair pick-me-up, or when you overdose on styling product.

So, if you're Paris Hilton, for example, and you've spent all day, um...sleeping in and then tanning right up until club time, you can spray this dry shampoo in your weave and no one will ever know that you were smoking and drinking until 6 a.m. the night before with Mary Kate and Ashley.

Handy, huh?

Since I have a considerably less glamorous life than that, I need dry shampoo for another reason. (And it's NOT because I don't shower. OK, well, since Ella came that IS a problem some days, but that's another post). For some reason, smells stick to my body like super glue -- check that -- body AND hair. So if we go out to have Mexican food and then go to a movie after (hahahahahhahahahahhahahhahahahahhahahaha - see what I did right there? I just pretended that I go out - funny, huh?!?), then I smell Mexican food ALL NIGHT in my hair and on my clothes.


Which brings me back around to being mad at my friend Marilynn (who is in the "beauty" industry), "WHY HAVEN'T YOU TOLD ME HOW TO GET RID OF FAJITA HAIR BEFORE THIS?!?!"

In case you're wondering, I haven't tried it yet (mainly because I gave up spending $20 on a bottle of shampoo long ago), but I will. And when I do? I'll tell you all about it. Fajita hair and all.

Is anyone else craving Mexican food?!?


If you were anywhere near my house this afternoon (and maybe even if you weren't), you may have heard the following emanating from the walls:

ME (SHRIEKING to the dog):





I'm pretty sure the conversation went something like this inside Indy the Dog's head (use your best dog imitation voice):

Indy the Dog: Look at my new chew toy! Look at my new chew toy! Look at my new chew toy! Wait, er? What's that?!?!?

Indy the Dog: UH, OOPS. ER...putting this down riiiiiiight over here.

Indy the Dog: LOOK! It's down! I'm a good boy, right? There are only a few slobber marks on it. See? Nothing we can't fix. GOOD BOY? (Please say I'm a good boy!).

Indy the Dog: Averting my eyes, yep I think averting my eyes would be best here! WHAT UGG BOOT?!?!

The UGG boot lives. Sadly, though, the dog is buried in the snow outside. (It's OK, I tunneled a little hole for his nose so he could breath).

He better be glad we got this cute pic of Ella rockin' the UGGs the other day:

DISCLAIMER...No UGG boots, babies, or dogs were harmed before or after the creation of this blog post. OK, Ella might be really mad about that hat when she gets older, but I wouldn't say she was HARMED.


Confused about what's going on? Read more about why you might not be able to buy or sell children's items (used or new) after February 9 (AKA: "National Day of Bankruptcy") and what you can do about it.

Addendum: Apparently too many hits are making video a dull boy, er, slow. If you are having problems viewing the video from here, you can also try http://www.mefeedia.com/entry/cpsia-insults-mommy-blogger/13593344


I'm stalking Steve Burns from Blue's Clues.

Well, not really stalking. More like cyberstalking.

Ok. Let me back up.

It all started with a conversation about that creepy Joe guy that took over for Steve when he left Blue's Clues. (Because, when you and your husband finally get away for a romantic weekend after 18 months of all-baby-all-the-time, what else should you do besides discuss children's television)?


I relayed to Todd that my brother told me (that someone told him) that the Blue's Clues guy had committed suicide and that's why he was replaced. The more I thought about it (and we discussed it), the more I thought it had to be an urban legend. So I had to do some cybersearching.

(Blame it on the Science background, there's always that need to ask WHY for everything and then research it to death until it makes you crazy. Just ask my husband).

Turns out?
The rumors were kind of like the Richard Gere gerbil thing or the Rod Stewart thing.
Steve Burns is very much alive.

AND FUNNY! IN A TWISTED WAY. (I knew I silently bonded with him for some reason.)

Steve before death:

Steve after death:

Not bad for a dead guy, eh?

As for that creepy JOE guy (whose real name is Donovan Patton). I would pay more attention when he's on if he looked more like this and less like this on the show.

Speaking of attractions - I found an interesting tidbit when cyberstalking researching STEVE. Apparently many moms crushed on Steve and he often got comments about his derriere. That's a little weird, kind of like having a crush on your kid's preschool teacher or soccer coach, but whatever.
What do I know?
I'm writing an entire blog post about him and crush on Gordon Ramsay and Matt Lauer. (OK, to be FAIR, I had a crush on Matt Lauer until discussing his minute size - weight people, we're talking about weight here - with someone who had interviewed him).

However, I didn't find Steve attractive at all. In fact, I found him uniquely asexual. Maybe he was just a cartoon-like character to me which made him more believable when he was talking to, uh, OTHER cartoon characters. As for JOE? He looks TOTALLY uncomfortable and it's very apparent that he's thinking the entire time, "I'm just talking to a blue screen, boy do I feel like a tool."

To cement my annoyance with JOE (I can't help it, I have to write his name in ALL CAPS), he did a public service announcement (on the Blue's Clues channel) where he said, "Hi, I'm Donovan Patton. You probably know me as JOE..."

WHAT?!?! You come on the same channel that you are JOE to every kid in the universe and tell them that you really aren't JOE?!? I wasn't happy about him crushing down with reality on the kids, let me tell you.

My second-grade nephew was over a few nights ago. We had Blue's Clues on for Ella. My nephew looked at me and said, "Who IS this Joe guy? It's not supposed to be JOE, it's supposed to be STEVE."

I rest my case (because we all know only the truth is spoken from the mouth of babes).

And that, ladies and gents, is really an entire blog post about Blue's Clues.
And you thought your life was sad.


I've written before how self-righteous you can be when you don't have kids. It's so easy to watch others and pass judgement like, "Oh No She DIDN'T! There's NO WAY my kids would be able to do that."

Well, that was then, this is now:

THEN: I will never let my baby watch television.
NOW: Let's face it, my baby logs so much television/DVD time that Michael Moore is soon going to do one of those documentaries about us. (I "justify" it by only letting her watch educational programs where I feel like I'm pumping her little brain to maximum learning capacity).

THEN: I wouldn't shop second-hand shops for my baby.
NOW: Be very, very careful what you say. With lay-offs, business closing, and tough economy, we've nicknamed our child GSB (Garage Sale Baby). Betcha can't tell what's second-hand* in her oh-so-cute nursery, can you?

That's what I thought...

THEN: I would never let our kid sleep with us. I mean, why start that bad habit. It's the parents' fault when they can't get their kids to sleep in their own room and then complain about it!
NOW: Yeah, this was a BIG ONE for me (*ahem* so I thought). We really didn't start this habit until a couple of months ago (around 8 months old) and my mom kept saying, "But I bet she's SO COLD in that crib near the floor. Your bedroom stays SO COLD!" and she guilted us into it. NOW? She sleeps in our bed and (no shock) it's a
total nightmare trying to transition her to her own room. It's my own fault. You can say I TOLD YOU SO, but I don't regret having that bonding time with her the past couple of months (I do regret loss of sleep, however). (And I can hear all the audible *gasps* from you self-righteous OH NO SHE DIDN'T people. Yes I did. Get over it.).

THEN: Why does one parent have to sit in the back with the baby? It's stupid to sit in back all the time.
NOW: Let's just say my husband has been Driving Miss Daisy for almost 1 year now.

THEN: I don't understand why parents can't just have an evening out. I mean, what's the big deal?
NOW: It was hard for me to go out unless it was our part-time nanny watching her. One night, we were going to a concert and had set up another babysitter. I bailed last minute. When our friend asked why I said, "What if a meteor hits the house?!?"

THEN: If they would put their kid on a regular schedule then they wouldn't have *those* problems.
NOW: I'm still a big fan of the schedule AND still think kids work better on them. HOWEVER, schedules are NOT the end all be all like I thought. Things just HAPPEN with kids and they really don't fit into your schedule. PERIOD. (And it totally sucks).

THEN: She's home all the time with the baby, why wouldn't she have time to do (XYZ).
NOW: I'm getting paid back BIG TIME for this one. The whole baby thing? THE.MOST.TIME-CONSUMING.THING.EVER. Try running businesses from home, keeping up a house, running around after a baby, letting the dogs out 7,210 times a day all the while 2 cats are meowing something accusatory at you. It sucks. I'm just glad that I'm not required to wear those June Cleaver dresses with pearls and have my hair done. (How DID they do it, anyway?!?!).

THEN: I hate when parents lick their finger and rub dirt (or something) off of their kid's face. HELLOOOO TISSUE?!?!
Now: Well, yeah, let me tell you this -- when there's something all over your wiggly child's face and you're heading out the door (of which it took you 2 hours to get ready to JUST that point), you're not going back in for anything. NOT EVEN A WET RAG TO WASH YOUR KID'S FACE (in that case, a sufficiently salivated finger works JUST FINE).

THEN: My baby won't be a picky eater. She won't have the choice. She'll eat what I feed her and like it.

Let the judgements begin.

*it's the refinished changing table, btw...


Something interesting always happens to me at the pediatrician's office (and you know how much I love going to the germ incubator).
Today was no different.

Blah*blah*blah* Ella has "baby measles", but that wasn't the important part. The important part was that I dressed her way cute in a short sleeve grey, pink and white dress with a pink long sleeve shirt under. Cute enough, right? But then add (get this) Pink Baby Uggs.

And someone noticed.


(Recently my oldest stepdaughter and I exchanged the following:
ME: Can you believe I took Ella out all cute in her Baby Uggs and no one commented? I mean, how can NO ONE mention cute baby Uggs?
HER: WHAAT?!?! No Way.
ME: I know, RIIIIIGHT?!?!)

The Pediatrician was the one to notice. And she went on and on and on about Ella's Baby Uggs.
And all was good in the world.

However, that wasn't the strange thing that happened today.

In my post-proud parenting moment, I had to tinkle. So on the way out I hit the office's restroom. I immediately noticed new signage added to the back of the door:

If you need assistance, please yell for help.

HM. Not only was the sign interesting, but it had me wondering what exactly caused the creation of such a sign. And really? If you're in the restroom and were in that dire need of assistance, what else would you do?
Maybe I'll ask next time.


Today the government has issued an update to it's CPSIA safety testing requirements for children's products:

"Sellers of used children’s products, such as thrift stores and consignment stores, are not required to certify that those products meet the new lead limits, phthalates standard or new toy standards.

The new safety law does not require resellers to test children’s products in inventory for compliance with the lead limit before they are sold. However, resellers cannot sell children’s products that exceed the lead limit and therefore should avoid products that are likely to have lead content, unless they have testing or other information to indicate the products being sold have less than the new limit. Those resellers that do sell products in violation of the new limits could face civil and/or criminal penalties."


This shows that people pulling together CAN make a difference!

The original posting about the can be found at:

Other articles about the governmental update and clarification:


1/9 Addendum:
I just wanted to make a comment on the governments updates/clarifications on H.R. 4040 based on some of the comments and emails I've been getting.

The governmental clarifications ("exemptions" in theory) ONLY cover USED items for children 12 and under. This still means that NEW BOOKS for children 12 and under will need safety certification. By whom is still unclear to me - By the publisher? By the bookstores? What about independently published children's authors? I'm still trying to find answers to these questions.

Additionally, the clarifications still do not cover independent businesses providing new items for children 12 and under (like the mom's who have online businesses and make all-natural products for children).

This means that our fight is still not over! We still need to fight for the exemption of small businesses who cannot afford this costly safety testing and who do not sell lead-based products. Please help:

1) Email or call the CPSIA - the office of the CPSC ombudsman 888-531-9070.

Comments on Component Parts Testing accepted through January 30, 2009.or email: Sec102ComponentPartsTesting@cpsc.gov

2) Contact your local representatives. For their contact information, just enter your zip code.

3) Make your voice heard by voting on this issue! The top 3 in each category will be presented to President-elect Obama.

4) Sign the petition.

5)Spread the word! Forward this article. Send an email. Write about this on your blog. Tell others about this issue and encourage them to do the same!

See all the gory details up close and personal at

We have already made a difference for used retailers/resellers. Let's continue the fight!

ADDENDUM: Clarifications were released on January 8 after this post was written. However, the fight is not over as it still affects MANY MANY children's items. We need your help!


Say goodbye to another freedom.

Do you love shopping your local used bookstore for children’s books?
Isn’t it fun to shop children’s consignment stores and know that you are “going green” by recycling?
Are you a work-at-home mom making some of those fantastic children’s clothes that we all see on the Internet and love?
Are you an independent retailer who sells items for children 12 and under?
What about Mom-to-Mom sales, aren’t they fun?
Do you make extra money by selling your kids’ old stuff on online auction sites?
Are you an independently published children’s author?
Do you participate or shop at craft fairs?
Do you donate used children’s items to needy organizations?
What about when your church has used item sales as fundraisers?
Does your child play sports and get their uniform logos printed at a local print shop?

If you answered yes to any of the above, we have some bad news for you. Your alternatives to big box stores, mass production, and charity donations are soon to become even smaller. In February 2009, your time may have come (and not in a good way). What we’re referring to is H.R. 4040, the Consumer Protection Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) signed into law August 14, 2008, and going into effect February 9, 2009.

H.R. 4040 establishes consumer product safety standards and other safety requirements for children's products (especially lead-based products). The legislation works to ensure safe levels of lead and phthalates (a substance added to plastics to increase flexibility) in all products manufactured for children under the age of 12. After February 9, 2009, it will be necessary for all manufacturers, providers, sellers, and resellers of children’s products targeted at ages 12 and under to test their products for safety and unit label each product as safe. Even if the products are made from all-natural materials or if there is documentation from a manufacturer or seller stating that the items are safe, the products must still have costly unit testing and certification for each item intended for children 12 and under.

Yep, you could be selling contraband.

As H.R. 4040 is written, any product used by children 12 and under (such as toys, clothing and shoes, books, magazines, school supplies, jewelry, sports equipment and much more) without the newly required certification would be deemed hazardous, even if the item poses no actual threat. So on February 10, 2009, any unsold merchandise in stores of any type or size – from your big box stores to your favorite indie stores – will be deemed “hazardous goods” and illegal to sell unless third party testing proves otherwise.

Not only will you be unable to buy or sell uncertified items for children 12 and under, you will no longer be able to donate them to your favorite charity. Instead, the government will require permanent destruction and disposal of perfectly safe materials that simply do not have a certification because legislation would not be amended.

We care about safety, too.

Don’t get us wrong. We as parents, aunts, uncles, brothers and sisters agree – we should do whatever is necessary to keep our children safe. However, we don’t believe that the CPSIA’s wide-sweeping inclusion of all businesses (no matter size or function) is the way to go. For example, under H.R. 4040’s current language, there is no distinction between small or large businesses selling children’s items, manufacturers importing those goods to sell at big box stores, or the work at home mothers selling homemade items on auction sites. The legislation is applied to all businesses in the same way. H.R. 4040 is not only ambiguous, but also fails to consider independent businesses such as the ones that make handmade or all-natural/organic clothing, or sell perfectly safe children’s items (like books without lead paint or plastic components). Legislation written as all-or-nothing is simply not going to function well – for any of us.

But it won’t affect me, right?

This might not seem like a big deal to many of you. However, the unit testing required on finished products is costly – somewhere between hundreds to thousands of dollars for every item. That’s each item the store is selling for children 12 and under. This cost-prohibitive testing will mean that many of your used children’s bookstores, favorite online children’s clothing stores, and children’s consignment shops will be forced to close. In the independent business industry, this February 9, 2009, day of legislation is being referred to as National Bankruptcy Day.

That’s right National Bankruptcy Day.

We as small independent businesses are not asking for exemption from ensuring the products we sell are safe. What we are asking is a rethinking of the current legislation to fit independent businesses that are a large part of the nation’s economy and charity organizations that support people in tough economic situations.

How can you help?

So what can you do to help save your local used bookstore that sells children’s books? Or that little consignment shop? Or your EBay business selling children’s items?

ACT NOW before the quickly approaching deadlines:
1) Email or call the CPSIA - the office of the CPSC ombudsman 888-531-9070.
Comments on Component Parts Testing accepted through January 30, 2009.or email: Sec102ComponentPartsTesting@cpsc.gov

2) Contact your local representatives. For their contact information, just enter your zip code.

3) Make your voice heard by voting on this issue! The top 3 in each category will be presented to President-elect Obama.

4) Sign the petition.

5)Spread the word! Forward this article. Send an email. Write about this on your blog. Tell others about this issue and encourage them to do the same

See all the gory details up close and personal at

Jacqueline Wilson is a published author, consultant and owner of www.TheBookBlues.com. As a parent, independent business owner of multiple online businesses, and writer/bookstore owner, she has a vested interest in this legislation in more ways than one. You can email Jacqueline at jwilson@jacquelinewilson.info.