Stepmonsters The Book: A Review and A Ramble

Just the title of the book conjures up all kinds of evil thoughts doesn't it? But, if you are a step-parent, this is the most reassuring book you will ever lay your hands on. ...more

Mafia or 'Lord of the Flies' -- Never Turn Your Back on Your Kids

I have always been pretty proud of my boys when they are not amongst the husband and me. Everyone always claims they are polite, and always helpful. Never rude. However, what happens when you are close by? Do they behave if they are in their own home- and there is someone unrelated in that home? What I have learned… my boys are a brutal mafia family. At least that’s what a friend told me. ...more

we are family

my mother died almost three years ago. my father has been in an alzheimer's unit for five. my two brothers live close to my father, my sister is 2000+ miles away and i am 500+ miles away. the four of us have always gotten along well and my sister and i are very close. when our parents began their decline we were united in our ideas about dealing with medical issues and what was best for them. after mom died we gathered to go through old pictures and letters and memorabilia and it was good to be together....more

She Wants a Little Sister...Hah!

So, for the past few days, I have been having a raging argument about whether or not I'll have another baby. Not with my husband, but with one of my kids. She won't give it up, starting in the morning with, "can I tell you a secret? I really want a little sister," going through to after school when she involves other people, "Mrs. R, shouldn't I have a little sister?" and continuing all the way into nightfall when the tiredness overcomes her and she flops on the ground kicking and yelling, "I want a little sister! I want a little sister!"...more

Preschool Pointers - 28: You Don't Have to Distract All the Time

Problem:Your kids aren't being reasonable (again!). You've asked them to do something and they won't do it, and not only that, now they're whining about it (or worse, throwing a tantrum). Or they're throwing a tantrum over over whether or not they get to shut the door, or how red the leaf they picked up is or is not. Whatever. Whatever it is that they're being feisty all over is ridiculous.Solution:...more

Four Is Not a Perfect Age

Look, I don't know who told me that four was an awesome age of unicorns and rainbow puppies, but they were wrong.Here's a quick list of phrases I never need to hear again...just off the top of my head:1) Don't boss me around.Okay, one of us is four and the other is thirty and made you. Just take off your damn shoes.2) I'm in charge....more

Being Ten Again

I discovered when I return home to visit my Mother for an extended time that I revert to my ten-year old self. In the past week I have gotten accustomed to my Mother making my coffee, baking my favorite treats, and the biggest perk is a late night trip to the dairy bar for ice cream with sprinkles. ...more
 @Semi True Jen Thanks! It's funny how we are always kids to our parents regardless of age :)more

The Best Thing About Kids

The best thing about kids is that they love you. Simple as that. They're programmed to love you. All you have to do is show up. Insta-love. This makes parents some of the luckiest people on Earth. With adults, you have to earn their trust, their love. You mess up, you treat them less than well, and they can take it away. Adult love is an eternal compromise, a push and pull and ignore this, don't squabble about that. Adult love is respecting boundaries, actually, it's respect, period. It's rarely, if ever, unconditional. ...more
They look like very good helpers! I think I need to get my fellas started on the laundry. I ...more

Shared Suffering

There's a phenomenon I've noticed since the girls were quite little. Unless they're fighting with each other, only one gets upset at a time. If one is sad about something, if one is angry about something, if one is tantruming about something, the other usually will not. The other usually will remain calm, even if the problem the first twin is experiencing is something that would upset them both. It's as if they figure one crying about it is enough. ...more

Toddler Keywords

When you live with toddlers you quickly learn that there are some responses that will end in tears, some that will end in a fight, and some magical phrases that will result in blessed quiet and understanding. These are phrases you have complete control over. Use them nicely, use them as elements outside of yourself or as actionable promises where the children see you as an advocate for their cause, even though you aren't doing anything for them at the moment. Start early with these concepts. Drill them into the children's brains as fact, or at least as routine....more