Lessons in Parenting

Why Mama’s Crazy Rules Matter

Kimmie starts kindergarten this week. She can’t wait. She is soooo ready. Her first day of preschool, she marched right into the building without a backward glance. Kindergarten will be the same way. That is, as long as she survives the bus ride. Don’t get me wrong; she can’t wait to ride the school bus, …

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Reset Buttons Broken? Try Using a Code Word

Oh, the ironies of parenting. Not twenty-four hours after publishing my last blog post, on finding your kids’ reset buttons, I found myself mentally running through my own checklist, searching in vain for one of my own tricks that would work on a five-year-old who stubbornly resisted each and every attempt I made to help …

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Finding Your Kids’ Reset Button: My Top Ten Hacks

It’s one of those days (hours, minutes), and you’re at the end of the rope. You just wish your kid had come with an on/off switch, circuit breaker, or some other way to turn her off. Then you could power her down, reboot her, and start all over with a clean slate. Or maybe it’s …

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Toilet-Training Your Monster, Commando Style

It’s 1:15 a.m. My husband and children are once again sound asleep upstairs, but I’m wide awake. That’s because a half-hour ago, my dear husband nudged me out of a deep sleep and informed me that Essie wanted me. Translation: Essie had to go potty, and it was my turn to deal with it. No …

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On Toilet-Training Your Monster

Both of our children have been way ahead of the curve in some areas (mostly academic), but have taken a more leisurely approach in others. Kimmie was nearly eighteen months old before she mastered the art of independent walking, and for Essie that skill didn’t come until the age of sixteen months. And then there’s …

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Same Poop, Different Day: A Memo From The Trenches

Tonight I wish to propose a toast, to each and every parent-of-small-children who survived today. Especially those who still have at least one child in diapers. The joke’s on us As I write this, the full moon is still a few days away according to my calendar, but the date is yet April 1 for …

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Less is More, Three Months In: An Update on the New Tidy

Kimmie spent most of last week home from school with a fever. Although her appetite for food was way down, and her appetite for sleep was way up, she was otherwise her happy, normal self. So afternoons involved lots of napping and movies, and mornings when Essie was in school quickly became lots of bonding …

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What Are Your Family Traditions?

Whenever new people enter a family, things shift a bit. It doesn’t matter whether the new person is a significant other or a newborn infant. New traditions come into being, or get passed on from one family segment to another. The first time my husband and I spent Christmas together, he got a stocking as …

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Less Is More: Three Ways We’re Cutting Back and Living Better This Holiday Season

Even though the first week of December was rainy and dreary in our neck of the woods, the girls and I have had a super start to our month. Part of the credit goes to the fact that I’ve made some very conscious decisions to simplify our lives, both for the holiday season and beyond. …

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Do You Have Your S#!t Together?

Last weekend, a two-car accident left three people seriously injured and one woman dead. The woman was a friend of my family’s, and my mother’s entire church community is reeling with the news that she is gone and her husband has more broken bones than he can count. So am I, quite frankly. Dinah and …

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Want Something Done? Try Counting

My husband is a math teacher. He lives, breathes, and eats numbers. Thus it’s not too surprising that numbers are floating through the atmosphere in our house on a pretty regular basis, or that Kimmie and Essie have been a bit ahead of the curve in learning to count. But early in our parenting journey, …

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Some Things You Just Have To Learn The Hard Way

Yesterday morning, Halloween, was a prime example of One Of Those Days. Don’t get me wrong – it had its moments that were perfect enough for a Hallmark card. Like when I giddily returned home a few minutes before 7 a.m., exhausted and sweat-soaked but on a temporary high after having dragged myself out of …

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On Fickle Four-Year-Old Friendships: Surviving the Drama

Ah, the fickle friendships of childhood. Until recently, we never imagined that such dramas could begin as early as the preschool set. Welcome to the twenty-first century. We signed Kimmie up for two weeks of camp this summer. The camp is run by her preschool, so she already knows many of the other campers, and …

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When Your Preschooler Won’t Cooperate: Big Kid + Big Privileges = Big Responsibilities

Awhile back, before I published my post about letting Kimmie watch movies, I sent a draft of it to my friend Liz, who blogs over at Everyday Ecologist. In a subsequent phone conference, as we chatted about the slippery slope of kids and screen time, Liz said something to the effect of, “I can’t wait …

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I Want – make that FOUND – a New Drug: Screen Hypnosis

One of the financial realities of our shift from a DINK (double-income, no kids) household to one income post-parenthood is that life is full of new financial choices. For example, we could choose to spend over $1000 per year on cable or satellite TV. Instead, we choose to invest our limited time and money in …

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