Diaper-free house arrest, Day 3

Gunnar, who will turn three in March, has been dabbling with potty training for months, with the first morning pee in the potty pretty much a sure thing. Trouble is, that's where the momentum ended most days....more

I don't have kids, but I relate to the idea of house arrest due to elimination ...more

Real men wear pee

At the risk of sounding like an obnoxious Gen-Xer, people over 50 seem sort of astounded with my husband's level of parental involvement. Sometimes I'm not sure it's even a compliment, as if somehow Brian's willingness to take a five-minute break from work to hang out in a couch fort or even join us for lunch makes him somehow soft....more

Toddler turf wars: How to keep the peace?

I had a somewhat mortifying incident with the kids about a month ago. Our trip to the park started out fantastic. The playground equipment was dry (as usual, I'd forgotten a towel to wipe the prior day's rainwater off the slides), intact (not sure why anyone would vandalize a toddler swing, but we've met that disappointment repeatedly), and, since school was back in session, we had the place to ourselves....more

Confessions of an ex-cross-country coach

That's not to say I wouldn't be ecstatic to do it again.But the 2009 cross-country season has wrapped, and I'm hanging up my figurative whistle and stopwatch until further notice. Like the end of every track season I've ever been a part of, I'm both high and exhausted.Out of the entire 12-week season, I felt marginally comfortable in my role for maybe the last three of them.I reported to my old stomping ground in late August with zero credibility other than the fact that the head coach--a friend and former teammate--invited me on board as an assistant....more

Standing up for time outs

So, has anybody else out there read that timeouts are the new spankings--i.e., totally ineffective and potentially damaging?Apparently, by denying our children affection for a couple of minutes after they break the rules--generally set to prevent kids from experiencing or causing others physical harm--we're subjecting them to conditional love....more

I wasted most of the alone time I had during my first pregnancy reading about the pregnancy ...more

Brothers and sisters

A close friend of mine lost her sister last week. It was unexpected, as death always really is, even when it’s visibly encroaching. It most definitely was sudden.I didn’t really know the deceased, except that she was too young—the same age as my little sister, in fact.My friend and I have gotten the chance to hold each other and cry. Her loss is not my loss, but it dredges up the heartache of losing my brother three years ago....more

Operation Terrible Twos

Out of my intrepid fear of cliches, I may have been unclear with Tuesday's post. Even though we survived the Spawnocalypse--two and a half years of transition from daydreaming newlyweds to sometimes-haggard parents of back-to-back babies--this journey and blog are far from over....more

Is showering with your toddler dirty?

At this point in my parenting career, I'm pretty good at taking others' opinions in stride. Think cloth diapers and home schooling are the way to go? Fine. Neither are for me, but who cares? But every so often, I kick myself for not addressing a remark more clearly (or at all). So, behind the shield of the Internet, consider exhibit A... ...more

Like I said, I was surprised to get a negative reaction about this--shocked actually. Both ...more

Do you know Spawnocalypse?

Or maybe more like FYIs. Whatever. Here goes. Q: What's with the name Spawnocalypse--do you hate your kids? ...more