Little girls learning about body image: The subtle sting of Barbie

My family spent a wonderful day at the neighborhood pool, for a friend's birthday party. It was one of our most fun pool days ever, though we didn't use enough sunblock and are paying the price tonight.There was one sad moment for me. I spent much of the day following my two-year-old around, as he played with little boats and pool noodles at the steps of the pool and hot tub. There were three very sweet little girls playing with Barbie mermaids, and my son reached out to try to play with one. The girls politely told him "No, that's not yours."...more

Sex, Parenting, or Good Housekeeping?

I often make comments to other wise and experienced mothers about how parenting is not how the parenting magazines depict it. You can literally drive yourself crazy feeling like a failure if you try to fill your days with crafts made from recycled trash, beautiful snacks made to look like small animals, and long family walks discussing self-esteem and gratitude....more

If we stay home, the swines win.

I've never been a panicky type. No one's ever accused me of being a hypochondriac, I hate going to the doctor, and I'm not easily scared. (Unless of course, the lights are off and a scary movie trailer comes on during Leno.) No, I'm more the whistling-in-the-dark type. When the threat is somewhat real, that's when it's time to sing songs and tell jokes and act like everything's fine. Wash your hands, of course, but go abut your business. We're supposed to wash our hands anyway, right? ...more

Choice for Chickens? How California's Prop 2 is a little (a tiny bit) like the pro-life movement

Here in California, there is a proposition on the ballot that could change the way laying hens, pigs, and calves are treated. Proposition 2 would require farms to "allow them to turn around freely, lie down, stand up, and fully extend their limbs." ...more

If eggs are expensive (and they are) why not replace them with cheaper, higher quality ...more

Why does Sarah Palin make me cry?

I've been very emotional about Sarah Palin since her announcement a week ago, and I have genuinely tried to examine why. I like her, I identify with her loving a big family, I appreciate that she lives unapologetically. I deeply, and very personally, celebrate that she is a high-profile example of how we should value all babies, even the inconvenient and the imperfect. Even when it changes your life and breaks your heart. ...more

Obama and Palin leave my heart exhausted

Though I am not a Democrat, I thought they put on a great show this last week. I couldn't help but admire their earnestness and eagerness to improve America. And no one can deny that Bill Clinton is a very genuine and persuasive speaker, he had even me wondering why it is I am voting for McCain? (Oh, yeah Iraq, energy and drilling, conservative judges, sanctity of life, the first amendment .) ...more

5 Things I Can't Wait to Stop Saying to My Kids

I love being a mom to my very young children. I really do. I especially love the baby stage, I have said many times that I'll take an infant anyday, I can handle the sleep issues, crying, nursing, all that. I love that part and I feel like I'm good at it. It's when they start walking and talking that my patience and confidence wane. I still love it, but it is sooooooo hard. ...more

Don't worry, the words and phrases just change as they get older.

Because I said ...more

Our lives are made in these small hours

Friday night is usually movie night at our house, especially when Jamie is gone. The kids get excited to pop popcorn, stay up a little later, and pick a movie On Demand. I like a good excuse for pizza and eating in front of the TV. This past Friday's pick was Meet the Robinsons, a movie we have seen before, but it's been awhile, and it was one of my favorite kids' movie's in a long time. I started it at about 7, and while the kids watched, I was busy with the pizza, the dishwasher, sorting mail, feeding the baby, changing a diaper, and then making popcorn. ...more

Maybe if you hadn't put the dishes away and gone through the mail you wouldn't have been open ...more

Alarm Clocks, the Dentist, and some Good Advice from a Hollywood Hooker

Today I will share a cautionary tale. As a mom, I tell many cautionary tales to my children, such as the one about how their Dad got a wooden dowel stuck in the roof of his mouth when he was a kid (lesson: don't run with things in your mouth), one about how I once stapled my thumb and it throbbed all day (lesson: don't touch the stuff on mommy's desk), and one about how I knew a girl who accidentally stuck a knife into her eyeball and had to get a glass eye (true, and the lesson should be obvious.) But today's cautionary tale, while equally scary and painful, is for the moms, not the kids. ...more