Category: about “Unplug Your Kids”

Blog Fears

By , September 2, 2008 8:20 pm

CONFESSION: Sometimes I fear that my blog might make others feel inadequate.

I am NOT a Perfect Mom, far from it!!! In fact “Consistently Substandard” is my parenting philosophy (CSS=”Consistently Substandard Slacker”).

OK, forget the humor.  Honestly though, a carefully written post every few days does not really completely equal my life and me. Does that make sense?

I have read discussions over the year and a half that I have been blogging and reading blogs, about how the rosy, “perfect” Mom-blogs of others make some feel inadequate by comparison.

I constantly worry about that. The purpose of my blog is to hopefully help, inspire, and connect.

  • No we do not have TV in our house and I blog about that. By this I am not implying that I feel that this is the desired lifestyle for all. It is not. However for anyone who has inclinations in the TV-free direction, I hope to provide information, encouragement, and show that it IS possible (for some) to live happily without TV.
  • Yes I try to do a craft project with my kids once a week. Am I “crafty?” No. Am I creative? Probably. I have always enjoyed art, music etc. but so far have found little time or energy to tackle much of that with my kids. The Unplugged Project is as much for me as for others. It makes me sit down once a week and do something fun and creative with my children.
  • Much of my daily “real life” is spent following my two year-old dictator around, tidying up clutter (I have a dysfunctional love-hate relationship with stuff), and accomplishing such exciting tasks as laundry, scooping cat poop out of the litter boxes, and cleaning bathrooms. Glamorous? No. Real? Yes.
  • I don’t homeschool. Although I love the idea of it and greatly admire those who succeed at it, I am not unhappy with the school my children attend. I also am quite delighted to see my kids return to school in the fall. See? I really am a devotee of CSS!

Unplug Your Kids seems to have become more well known recently.  Apparently with “fame” comes criticism.  Perhaps I liked it better when no one had heard of UPYK.

I have recently read a few negative, spiteful references to my blog. I have also had some equally negative, spiteful comments. (By the way, can you read this nasty commenters? “D-E-L-E-T-E B-U-T-T-O-N.” I have one and I use it, so don’t waste your time and mine with a needless, unpleasant remark.)

As a well-intentioned perfectionist and a relatively (I hope) nice person, I find this upsetting. I know I must make an effort not to take it all personally, but it is hard.

Good thing I am not a celebrity. If I had to read a bunch of awful things about myself in the National Enquirer in the grocery store checkout line, I’d just fade away and die. (Although if I were really a celebrity “worthy” of the front page of the National Enquirer, then I don’t suppose I would ever be in the grocery checkout line. Wouldn’t my “handlers” be there for me?)

I spend a lot of time and mental energy on this blog and I am thankful to have had mostly very positive comments and emails. I try to put more focus on those. They really mean so much!!

But for those of you who might feel inadequate or somehow threatened by my blog, here is THE TRUTH:  I do not live in a state of blissful harmony with my offspring.  Motherhood is certainly not all there is to me as a person.   I adore my three children, but much of the time that I physically spend cooking, cleaning and following around my two year-old tyrant, I am actually mentally dreaming of flying; writing a book; having an intelligent, thought-provoking, adult conversation; traveling to Europe; making stained glass windows for my bedroom; or hanging out by the pool at a five star resort with adult friends drinking wine and tasting assorted fancy hors d’oeuvres.

This confession may disillusion some, and cause a few others to want to call Child Protective Services. Hopefully however, it will encourage most readers to see Unplug Your Kids not as a place of comparison, but a place of encouragement and companionship.

An Open Letter

By , June 21, 2008 10:17 am

This is a comment I received this morning from “Greg Fillibuster” on my perfectly innocuous (or so I thought) Opt Out of Your Phone Books post:

“Everyone needs to get their facts straight.
Ever heard of lumber? Do trees grow in 2 x 4’s?
what happens to the rest of the tree once you have taken out the 2 X 4’s?
Paper Pulp. If not paper, this would go to the landfill.
Once a directory is used it can be recycled. Firms making insulation cannot get enough recycled phone books.
Insulation cuts down on energy used for heat.
What about the 87% of households that used a phone book last year. You Green nuts need to get your facts correct.”


Dear Mr. Fillibuster,

Before leaving a comment, especially an unpleasant reactionary one, please read the post.

1) First, THE SERVICE is for those who do not want 50 lbs of paper dumped on their doorstep several times a year.

  • I am not saying that phonebooks are bad and that no one needs them, I am simply saying that I should not have to be forced to waste my gas and my time to drive my 50 lbs of paper to the recycling bin so that it can be nicely recycled into insulation. Why not give those people the paper in the first place without wasting everyone’s time and gas getting giving it to me when I don’t want it.
  • This service allows people who don’t use phone books to have the choice to opt out. Those who do use them can still get their phone books. Obviously many people still use phone books. Not everyone has internet access. That is fine. I just don’t want one more than every two years or so, but that is my choice and I am pleased to finally have that choice
  • By the way, the service doesn’t guarantee non-delivery of phone books. It simply forwards requests to the phone company and it is up to them to act upon that request.

2) RECYCLING: Yes, phonebooks can be recycled but I would wager that the majority of people don’t waste their time and gas to drive them to the recycling bin. Do you?

3) FACTS: As for my environmental “facts,” I did list the source of those facts (I did not see the source of your “facts”). If you believe them to be incorrect, then please take the issue up with YellowPagesGoGreen, not with me. By the way, I thought that paper pulp came from paper which came from trees. And lumber, isn’t that wood that came from trees too? Silly me!

4) “GREEN NUTS”: As for your reference to “green nuts,” I am not quite sure what you mean. Pistachios perhaps? Last I checked, I was not a pistachio, nor am I the color green. Silly me again!

5) A bit of advice: Anger and name calling really detract from your message. If you want people to give more serious consideration to what you have to say, I would advise you to tone down your delivery just a tad.

Finally, I do hope your day improves because you must be having a very bad one if you have nothing better to do than leave unpleasant comments on innocent people’s blogs on a Saturday morning.

Peace and love to you Mr. Fillibuster,


Ms. Pistachio


By the way, thanks to all the people out there who make blogging a pleasant experience. I blog to relax, not to have my blood pressure raised. Some people like controversy on their blogs and that is OK. That has never been me (I have only ever “ranted” once, OK – now maybe twice!). I am non-confrontational in life and on my blog. I just want to say what I have to say and if people like it, they can come back. If they don’t, they can go away.

And yes, I hit delete on that comment above so you will not find it at the phonebook post. And by the way, that is the only comment I have ever deleted because it angered me.

But my blog is not a democracy, nor is it a dumping ground for other people’s anger. It is mine. I control what is published on here. For those who have no kind words to say, then please go away. It sounds corny, but I want to spread good feelings, not bad.

99% of the comments I get are great, keep them coming! Thank you!

I am a Blog Capitalist

By , May 29, 2008 10:20 pm

My first real foray in to the world of blog capitalism is open for business. No, I am not plastering Unplug Your Kids with ads for cheap narcotics, online casinos, and get rich quick schemes. It’s just my store!

All my life I have secretly wanted to own a toy store and a bookstore and fill my stores with all the toys and books that I like! (“Mines, mines, MINES!!!” as my 2 year-old would say). As a child, my toys were very meaningful to me. I am a packrat who kept many of them. I guess I just haven’t grown up yet.

Since owning a real “brick and mortar” toy or book store isn’t very practical in this day and age (especially in my small town), and there are plenty of wonderful online stores already, I decided to try setting up my own store through Amazon, just for fun. Besides, the toys and books that I like probably aren’t mainstream enough to ever be profitable anyway.

I have been fooling around with my store for over a year now, so it is finally time to try it out. I am quite proud that I managed to figure out how to fit the iframe reasonably well into my page. I feel like quite a techie!

As with all my Amazon links, I’ll earn a small percentage of any sale, even if someone enters Amazon via my store (or any Amazon link on my blog for that matter) and buys something else.

I don’t expect to become the next Donald Trump from this. My goal is very humble: to fund the purchase of a new book every month to review on my blog. I figure that in this way, I would be passing some of the goodness back to others. Of course I will feel that I have really hit the big time if I can cover the monthly cost of my web site hosting too!

This blog originally started out, long, long ago as a “shopping blog,” inspired by my friend Wishy who liked the gifts I bought her daughter. I guess my store is also a way to preserve that aspect of it, while I delve into other topics on the blog itself, as I have been doing for over a year now.

This leads to my last point…and if you have made it this far in reading my post, I am grateful! In addition to the more monetarily-oriented goals that I have mentioned above, I really hope that my store can help people cut through some of the toy and book junk out there. Having only a Walmart and Kmart to shop at for toys has made me an expert online shopper. I would like to pass along the good finds to others. Most of what I recommend, we have and love. The rest is stuff I would like to have and love!

So, I hope you enjoy the Unplug Your Kids store. If you like it, then check back from time to time because I will add new things as I find them. I also have a seasonal section that I plan on changing every so often. Knowing me, I will be tinkering with the store for quite some time.

The link is the “Shop Unplug Your Kids” tab in the upper right sidebar.


(Photo thanks to photographer Kevin Rosseel and

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