Nie Asks: What Is Your Happiest Memory?

What is one of your happiest memories? I love this photo I took of Christian and Lottie sleeping in at a cozy cabin. It was such a magical time; just the three of us. Quiet and peaceful -- and it snowed all night long! Now your turn: Share one of your happiest memories in the comments. I want to know! ...more
Just the other week, my family and I took a vacation.  We took the boys to swim in the ocean ... more

I'm Sorry That My Kid Hurt Your Kid

Dear Parent of a Child My Son Has Injured, Hi. I know our kids go to the same school and that we sometimes see each other at after-school pick up, but I'm hoping to avoid eye contact with you for a little while during this awkward recovery time. How is your daughter's face? (Or: How is your son's ankle?) Is her lip healing well? (Or: Is he able to walk without a limp yet?)...more
I feel like this is written by me, in the future, about my son when he starts school.   You're ... more

The Awkward Blogger

I began blogging in June 2012. As I started my blog, Mommy, For Real, I simultaneously read several books and numerous articles about blogging, particularly those featuring “mommy bloggers.” Over and over it was made clear that the way to have a successful readership was by putting yourself out there and interacting with other bloggers. Taking a deep breath, I began to do just that. ...more
Good for you for putting yourself out there.  I have a new blog too, and I didn't ever feel ... more

A Book a Day Advent Activity: 24 Books to Wrap & Unwrap

Last year we started a new holiday tradition. I rounded up all of the Christmas books in our house, bought a few new ones, wrapped them up and placed them under the tree. Every night, we unwrapped one book and read it together. It was a huge hit with the boys, the parents and the grandparents alike. We're doing it again this year. I've weeded out a few books, added in some new ones, wrapped them all up and we're ready to go!...more
I love this idea.  I'm totally doing it!  I usually find out about ideas like this a few days ... more

The Magic of a Box: Goodbye, Fort Days

This past summer Victor and the neighbors' kid made a fort out of a couple of cardboard boxes we had from our move... and tooth picks, scraps of rope, and lots of glue gunning. They spent several days building it and then playing with it for weeks with their Lego men. Now autumn is almost over and between school being back, newspaper routes to be... routed, and the cold settling in, the fort has become a bit derelict and its roof has begun to sag. I decided I'd document it before its inevitable collapse to the forces of winter weather....more
That is amazing!  I'm not going to show my sons... our chair-and-sheet forts suddenly will look ... more

Don't Lose Sleep Over the New Co-Sleeping Study

A new study has found that women who co-sleep with their babies are possibly more prone to stress than those who don't. I co-slept with both of my kids, and I could not disagree more. According to a Fox News article, "Breastfeeding and co-sleeping with baby affects mom's welfare," the study followed 195 women in a Chicago suburb for six months after they gave birth. The study showed that mothers who slept with their babies had "less-than-optimal daily rhythms" of the stress hormone cortisol....more
I had lofty goals of putting my firstborn to sleep in his own crib... they lasted about a day.  ... more

Are High Schools Sending Parents a Double Message?

When I attended the middle school back-to-school night last week, I felt like there was something bothering me, but I couldn't put my finger on it. Was it the 95 degree heat? Was it the 47,000 papers I was supposed to take with me now that our school is paper-free? Was it the mwa-mwah-mw-mwa-mwa-mwahhh quality of the PA system? No. It was none of those things. But on the drive home, I figured it out. It was the double message that we parents are subjected to when it comes to parental involvement in our children's education....more
I really like this article.  I'm a teacher, but elementary -not high school - and it's ... more

Can You Offer a Helping Hand Before a Judgmental Look?

I judged her, mother to mother, I judged her. I thought, hey, the lesson you are trying to impart could be done in a kinder way. A low voice, with a cuddle, speaking at his level, emphasizing the lesson not the anger. The anger and the bullying emanated through the change room's doors. I wanted to interrupt, knock on the door and say in the nicest way possible, can I help? Shall I watch him while you try clothes on? You seem stressed. What I can do to help?...more
 @clash1972 I agree!  Sometimes a knowing look, a "hang in there", or a "It's hard sometimes, ... more

A Lesson in Gratitude: I Received a Gift and Threw a Fit

I watched as my little friends opened boxes and found brightly colored necklaces and bracelets, fake diamond rings and all sorts of things that sparkled and shined. It was all inexpensive jewelry designed for a child, but to me it looked like pure gold. My friends immediately pulled the bracelets on over their hands and onto their tiny wrists. They slipped on rings and held out their hands like they'd just gotten engaged. ...more
I love this. Once, as a child, I was shocked to hear a girl speak badly about another girl in ... more

No Excuses: Parenting Isn't Hard

Parenting isn’t hard. Well, okay, sometimes it’s hard. Sometimes I participate in a discussion about someone in public being mean to their child. By “being mean” I mean spanking, slapping, grabbing, yanking, dragging, yelling, name-calling, belittling, punishing and so forth. And there’s always someone in these discussions ready to declare that “parenting is hard” and we should therefore cut the parent some slack. And I just reject this wholeheartedly....more
Parenting is hard.  Sorry, but it is.  I'm not belittling or name-calling my kids in public, but ... more