Dear Journal

My girls are already excellent journal keepers. They insist on going over their day every night before bed. It's become part of our bedtime routine, and it's one I really enjoy because I get to hear their side of things. Many times they've interpreted a situation in a way I'd never have thought of. In some cases, it allows me to gently correct them, like, "no, mommy did not tell you no because you were a little kid. She told you no because touching the stove is dangerous." In that way, I think it's really helpful to reinforce important lessons....more

Don't Roll Your Eyes At Me! and Other Parenting Resolutions for 2012

Rumor has it that 2012 is upon us. While I was trying to figure out what my resolutions or goals should be for the year (think: reading, organization, weight), I realized that there are some things I’d like to add to and or change in my parenting. Some are goals -- actual things to be done at some point. Some are resolutions -- concepts that either need changed or accomplished. Either way, while there aren’t many, these four parenting goals should keep me busy this year....more
Thank you for this great post. My mom and dad raised me on chore lists and strict allowances, ...more

Recipe Monday - Turkey Cream Soup

  This came out absolutely amazingly. I recommend it for all of your leftover turkey needs.RECIPE:...more

Toddler Tricks - 73: Shut It Off

Problem: The TV is on. Again. You needed to make breakfast or dinner and switched it on for the children. And then never switched it off. Or they asked for it specifically after nap, and watched it for ten minutes then wandered off, but they don't want you to shut it off. Or they're still watching it. They'll watch it for hours. Whatever kind of television-watching toddler you have, you, as the parent, feel like the TV is on just too much.SOLUTION:...more

Smarts Aren't Just About the ABCs

I spend the majority of my day playing with and catering to my kids. We do spelling games, sound games, and rhyming games. We draw, trace and identify letters and numbers. We talk a lot. They used their first adverb the other day. They know synonyms and homonyms. (Not by the names, just by definition.) They're constantly asking questions and internalizing the answers. They amaze me every day. So why is it that in an emergency situation, they would have no idea what to do? Parent fail, that's why. ...more

For My Daughter

She folds herself into my lap, her frayed blanket between us, and the weight of her is a feeling of home. Her body's warm from the sleeping. Her breath smells of milk and sweet dreams.Nevertheless, every day the baby in her fades. She's slipping into the world beyond sippy cups and training pants, into a play-land of babies she's Christened and named.Susie. Elizabeth. Annabelle.I am the Mama, she says in a whisper. I keep them safe....more

The Dreaded Post Christmas Cleanup

 After the last of the wrapping paper was scrapped and the boxes tossed out, I lined toys up ag...more
@uhlsvancity reminds me of my little sistermore

How to Explain your Life to an Outsider

Did you know I had more sanity when I was a working mom? My house wasn't as clean (and as you know, it's no prize right now, anyway), I felt as if I would break at any point. There was no relief. Except I had a 45-minute commute each way. I thought, I listened to music, I went over my day, straightened my thoughts, talked to friends and family. I had an hour and a half of highway driving all to myself. What a glorious gift. ...more

If Clothes Make the Man, Bring Out the Light Up Red Cowboy Boots

I rarely argue with my children about their clothing choices. As long as it (pretty much) fits, is clean, and is mostly weather appropriate, I'm down with it. There are a few exceptions -- church, formal events, visiting dignitaries. But, generally, if it covers your business, you're good. As a result, I have indulged tutus and creative coordinates, costumes as every day wear and repeated wearing of a favorite shirt....more
too cute and so much fun! my youngest insists on only wearing underwear that has basketballs on ...more
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