When is Mother’s Day Celebrated?

What day do you celebrate Mother’s Day? The answer to that question depends upon where in the world you live. Or, it could be based on where your mother is currently living. Many countries celebrate Mother’s Day but not all of them do it on the same day. This presents a dilemma for families who have relatives in more than one country. How do you know which Mother’s Day to celebrate? Do you use the one that matches with the country your mother lives in? What if that date isn’t the same one where you live? Mother’s Day is celebrated … Continue reading

Creating First Day of School Memories

In less than two weeks, my three children head back to school. This year is the first year that my youngest will be in school all day away from home. The moment he gets on the bus will be bittersweet, of course, but I’ll be sure to document it well with photographs of his beaming face as he embraces what it means to be a big boy. One tradition that I started when my first-born went off on the bus for the first time was to take a short video of him, standing by a certain rock in the yard … Continue reading

Playing the Numbers Game

It’s dinnertime and you’re frantically scrambling to get your three kids under six years old fed before you have to get the oldest to his soccer game and the middle one to the barber.  You swing into McDonald’s, order, squeeze into a booth, divvy up a 20-piece McNuggets amongst your offspring, and then quickly shove the first meal of your day down your gullet. What’s the last thing you’re thinking about during this manic mealtime? Well, other than wondering if Kate Middleton is breastfeeding Prince George. That’s right; calories. Those numbers, which are now posted on many restaurant menus in … Continue reading

Can’t Win for Losing

Summertime and the living is easy… No pencils, no books, no teacher’s dirty looks… and no set bedtime. What time do your children hit the hay during the summer months? In many families, summer sleepy time is dictated by Mother Nature.  Sunset bedtimes are the norm for many clans, much to the delight of young children, who gain at least a couple hours of extra playtime during the months of June, July and August. My 8-year-old is one of millions who has enjoyed bonus awake time this summer.  She’s spent it capturing fireflies, biking, making s’mores and attending all-night un-slumber … Continue reading

Flying Solo

My baby is gone. She learned how to ride a two-wheeler and took off. It’s a mother’s worst nightmare. Your child is ready to spread her wings, but you just want to smother those growing appendages in a bear hug and hold on for dear life. This summer, my little fledgling was itching to take flight and she used her beloved bike to soar… far away from home. Too far. Way too far. What started out as a request to ride solo to the end of our cul-de-sac morphed into a journey stretching several blocks into an unfamiliar neighborhood filled … Continue reading

Summer Bites

Backyard barbeques, picnics in the park, swimming, sunning, and swinging with friends until sunset; there’s so much to love about summer—minus the bugs. Despite the use of expensive sprays, fancy candles and other popular pest deterrents, my 8-year-old is covered with bug bites.  Living in northern Wisconsin, which is blanketed with forests and other havens for flying blood suckers, doesn’t help; however, this summer’s battle against the bugs seems to be a bit fiercer than in years past. Currently, my mom radar is set on mass insect detection.  I am on especially high alert for deer ticks, which can spread … Continue reading

Quick to Judge

I’ll admit it; if I see a toddler running around at the park wearing shorts and a t-shirt when it’s cloudy and 50 degrees out, I judge. Ditto when I spy a baby wearing nothing but green tinsel and a shamrock deely- bopper on Thanksgiving. Just call me Judgey Judgerton. They say parents are the worst offenders when it comes to judging their peers; however, I believe habitually jumping to conclusions about random people and situations is universal and not exclusive to those who procreate. Take for example the brouhaha surrounding actress Busy Philipps.  A few days ago, the TV … Continue reading

Why Kids and Smartphones Don’t Mix

No one said using a smartphone is a sure-fire way to avoid making stupid mistakes. I’ve covered the not-so wonderful side of technology in previous posts.  However, this latest gem goes beyond falling down manholes or setting expensive texting records. If you are a parent, you now have another reason to safeguard your smartphone when your kids are around. Paul Stoute is living proof that protecting your cellphone from little fingers is one of the smartest parenting moves you can make. The Oregon dad is the new owner of a vintage car, thanks to his toddler daughter’s cellphone skills. Or, … Continue reading

Shortening Summer Vacation

Know how to shut down an unruly kid in record time? Tell him that his school is shortening summer vacation. I’ve never seen a mouthy child go silent as quickly as I did last week while watching the evening news at our neighbor’s house.  Education leaders recently began serious talks about lengthening the academic year here. Of course, all my neighbor’s rowdy kid heard was:  “Next year, public school kids across the state could be dealing with a much shorter summer vacation.” The news reporter’s last three words nearly triggered an aneurysm in my neighbor’s kid. My child attends parochial … Continue reading

Curbing Bad Behavior: Biting

Once bitten, twice shy. Or in my daughter’s case, indefinitely shy. And in my case, infinitely outraged. Last year, my child was on the receiving end of a serious bite.  Not by a spider, a dog, nor a snake, but by a boy diagnosed with a developmental disorder. My daughter’s bloody injury required emergency medical treatment.  Fortunately, her tetanus shot was up-to-date, so she wasn’t forced to endure a booster. Despite the passage of time, the details of that traumatic day are still seared in my memory.  As I learned from the attending physician, human bites can be far more dangerous than … Continue reading