International Adoption Blogs: Communicating With Family Back At Home

As I write this, my brother and his wife are on the other side of the world, meeting their new baby daughter in Ethiopia.  She's 11 months old, and they'll be bringing her home in a few days.  Those of us back at home have been a bundle of nerves as we've waited for news of how they're doing, and thanks to the miracles of modern technology, we've worked out a system quite nicely.  My brother and his wife have a private blog (on Blogger, though they've not been able to access it from Ethiopia).  We have had somewhat reliable e-mail contact with them, and between the e-mails and some (v ...more

Congrats to your brother and sister-in-law!  I am also in the process of adopting from ...more

What Competitive Sports Have Taught My Kids and Me

I'm a sports mom.  I have two soccer players and a swimmer.  And it's a little amusing to me that life has taken me down this path. ...more

Hockey equipment does get nasty.  I've heard of people using the dishwasher for it, but ...more

Commuter Families Cope With Challenges

The normal demands on a growing family are, in and of themselves, substantial.  But imagine combining the "everyday" demands with the added pressure of a marriage in which circumstances dictate that spouses live in different locations (often called "commuter marriages").  This situation can take a significant toll on a family, for obvious reasons. ...more

I am the product of a "commuter marriage" myself.  My dad was a commercial ...more

Raising Problem Solvers

Someday, when I am long gone, and my children are sitting around reminiscing about me, there are (I hope!) many good things they'll remember.  But I wonder if, toward the top of the list, they will laugh and recite the sentence they have heard me say so many times that I've wondered if we should just paint it on the wall:  Be a problem solver. ...more

Rachelle Hughes, freelance ...more

Scheduling Babies: Trust Your Instincts

I’m a scheduling kind of girl. I live by my calendar, I make lists, and I find satisfaction in order. So when I was pregnant with my first child and found a book that promised an orderly, scheduled way to raise a baby, I jumped at it. I devoured the book, taking notes, and I talked to my friends, most of whom (at the time) followed the same baby “system”. ...more

Shannon, my story is the EXACT same.  I expected little Z to go by what I ordained as a ...more

What Do You Think Of Preschool TV?

Ask a mom of preschoolers what she thinks of preschool TV, and you're likely to get a strong reaction.  Some of the shows the under-five crowd are positively grating.  Fox News reported last month that military interrogators have actually used the Sesame Street and Barney theme songs in their interrogations!  ...more

My kid has some mad beatboxing skillz too, courtesy of YoGabbaGabba. That show is like ...more

Choosing a Family Calendar

Toss out the wrapping paper and let's get to work--it will be 2009 in exactly 6 days. Do you have a calendar yet? I do. It's a bit of an obsession, actually, one that has befuddled those around me. I'm generally a plugged-in, on-line kind of girl, but when it comes to calendars, I cannot bring myself to go electronic. I have tried PDAs--more than once--but to no avail. I need my paper calendar to manage my life, and I live by it. ...more

I like the fly lady calendar for my wall...it doesn't have pics but it has big squares or ...more

Raising Charitable Kids

I want my kids to be very aware of the world outside their safe little nest. As heartbreaking as it may be, I want them to know that there are many people living with hurt, need, hardship and loss. It isn't always an easy line for a parent to walk--I don't want to heap guilt upon my children (the whole "clean-your-plate-because-of-the-starving-children-in-Africa" routine). I do want them to enjoy what we've been given with thankful hearts. But I believe a healthy awareness of the need around them is good for a child. ...more

Shannon,

It sounds like you're doing a wonderful job with a very difficult but very important ...more

Santa Meets the World Wide Web

The World Wide Web has, it would appear, made its way all the way up to the North Pole.  You know, the real North Pole, the one with the red-and-white barber shop pole and flying reindeer and a jolly old castle that evidently has wi-fi. For families interested in using the Internet to find out what Santa has been up to, there are plenty of sites to visit: ...more

Well, I'd me remiss if I didn't tell you my very favorite - more

Cheap, Easy and Kid-Friendly Gift-Wrapping Tips

I really love gift wrapping.  There is something seriously satisfying about making a neat crease at the end of a square package, and perfectly tying up the loose ends.  It's pretty and it's tidy, especially at a busy time of year when tidiness seems to elude me! ...more

I love wrapping too. We used to have a 'wrapping room' and would all knock out the wrapping ...more