What's a 'Sleepunder'? (You'll Be So Glad When You Find Out!)

For her sixth birthday, my daughter wanted a sleepover party. She envisioned a 15-hour (at a minimum) gathering that would be filled with friends, hijinks, Frozen sing-alongs, and lots of ice cream. She saw it as first-grader Nirvana; I saw it as the ...more

On the Power of 'You Can Do It'

I recently interviewed for something pretty major (crossing my fingers, toes and eyes that I get it), and during the process I was inspired to take this little blog of mine in a slightly new direction. Sure, I’ll still be sharing my parental ...more

10 Excellent Chapter Books For Young Readers

There are no words to express the joy we felt when our 6-year-old son learned how to read on his own last year. Books have always been important in this house. (With a writer mother and an editor father, it's no surprise.) The Youngster has been read ...more

No, He Really Can't Have It. Please Don't Sabotage My Child's Special Diet!

My son Leo is on a medically managed diet. Which is easily manageable, as long as we plan ahead. Every so often, though, we find ourselves in social situations with dietary complications, and encounter folks who dismiss our, "I’m sorry, he can't eat ...more

Parenting Redux: 12 Things I Would've Done Differently With My Kids

I am grateful for all that I have: amazing kids, wonderful husband, rewarding career, outstanding community. And I don’t regret things in my life. But I know if I could, I would go back and do some things a little differently. As a mother of a ...more

I Am Proud (and a Bit Jealous) of My Adult Daughter

When I was 25, my life was a mess. I had left a brief mistake of a marriage, moved in with my father and his girlfriend, went back to a job I had left a year before and started over again. Shortly after, my grandfather died....more

My Advice to My Sons About School Shootings 

I never again want to feel like I have to sit my boys down and tell them what to do if someone starts shooting. I've done it at least three times already. We were in the car yesterday on our way to see a movie screening at The Grove, a popular outdoor mall in Los Angeles. On the radio, we heard an account of the mayhem at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Ore., where Chris Harper Mercer, 26, killed and injured more than a dozen people in the latest mass shooting in the U.S. The young man on the radio had been in a classroom near the shooting....more

We're Fighting Over the Kids' Screen Time. Is There an App For That?

Dear Mouthy Housewives, My wife and I totally disagree about our kids and screen time. She is the Tough Mom, and basically thinks the iPad will eventually melt their brains. I’m the Relaxed Mom (a.k.a. I like my iPad!), and I think it’s totally fine -- and even educational --for the kids to Minecraft and iPad to their hearts' delight. How can we find a happy medium? Signed, Steve Jobs’ Black Turtleneck ...more

Where Do I Belong?

Since we started talking about moving to Chicago, I've heard a lot of things about the city from everyone around me. I've heard that it's a rough city, that there is a lot of crime there, and that racial tension abounds. I really don't know what to think, but it's got me thinking: where do I belong in all of this?...more

Gun Violence: A Teacher’s New Normal?

Tomorrow morning I’ll bike to school like I always do. I’ll park by my classroom, unlock the outside door, and head into the indoor hallway. I’ll hear other English teachers leading their lessons, and I’ll peek inside to see the 7th grade faces ....more

Find Your Words

I have always loved words. I suppose this passion comes from my dad, who seldom told me the definitions of words when I--as a little girl--would ask, "Dad, what does that word mean?""Look it up," he would say, "Look it up."Grudgingly, I would plod over to the bookcase in the corner of the living room and heft a large dictionary into my arms. With a sigh, I'd slump onto the couch and crack the book open; always wondering if I'd ever find my word among the thousands ....more

Pumpkin Spice Truffles

It’s sweater, scarf, and boot season… and also time for all things pumpkin. I’m not one to change every recipe into one with pumpkin, but I do like it in small doses. That’s why I really like these Pumpkin Spice Truffles ....more

European MFME -- part 2 (Anita's beauty wonderland and our paraglide right through it)

(Part 1 is yesterday back HERE.) After our delicious Swiss dinner Anita took us on a walk up the mountain behind her house. ...more

I Am Proud (and a Bit Jealous) of My Adult Daughter

When I was 25, my life was a mess. I had left a brief mistake of a marriage, moved in with my father and his girlfriend, went back to a job I had left a year before and started over again. Shortly after, my grandfather died....more

Food Allergy Safety

We stood in front of racks filled with candy, the girls’ eyes wide as they scanned the recognizable packaging for something that jumped out at them. I prodded them to hurry up—OK, strongly...more

The Great Escape: Thoughtful Thursday (NaBloPoMo Day 6)

So I've escaped from the house. Without the kids. Or my husband. It's just me. Maybe "escape" is a bit extreme but,...no, escape sounds about right. Don't get me wrong I love my family. I'm sure if you've read any other post I've written that would be apparent. But one can only take so much before you need a break. ...more

4 Parenting Essentials I Learned From My Adult Kids

One of the most humbling things about my kids growing up is realizing that I still have growing up to do myself.I'm a reluctant empty nester. And while I'll always be my kids' mom, having the chicks out of the roost and on their own means I've had to adjust the way I parent. Contrary to the hardwired inclinations that tempt me to coddle and meddle, I'm learning to stay out of their way and let them live their lives as the adults they've become. It's not easy. Sometimes I want to have a tantrum....more

When the darkness looms and you feel the weight.

“I’m not sure why you don’t just focus on the pros, Mom,” my ever-wise ten-year-old said to me. “I mean– we live in New England! Fall is awesome in New England! ...more