Put Kids to Work

My parents were huge proponents of the idiom:  “Idle hands are the devil’s playthings.” In other words, my mom and dad hated seeing their offspring sit around when there was work to be done.  And when you’re living in a home occupied by six people, there’s never a shortage of tasks to be completed. For me, summer meant tennis camp, swimming lessons and plenty of chores.  In my dad’s eyes, no job was too dirty for his little girl.  Looking back, I don’t begrudge my father for keeping me and my brothers busy during the dog days of summer.  In … Continue reading

Turning the Corner in 2013

I’d love a life makeover in 2013. Where do I sign-up for that? Actually, I’d settle for a personal chef, chauffeur and housekeeper, paid for by an anonymous donor. Then again, what busy parent wouldn’t treasure professional help to get through the chaos of everyday life? Unless some miracle takes place between now and the stroke of midnight I will likely be tackling the same chores I do every.single.day. throughout 2013. That’s the cold slap of reality. Fortunately, I’m not letting it get me down.  Rather, I am planning to turn the corner in 2013 and help myself lighten the … Continue reading

Balance Family Time Like a Pro

I’ve always felt that family was the most important thing to me. I couldn’t imagine not being together with family. It doesn’t seem normal to me. My kids have started feeling that way too. They want to be with my husband and I and we love being with them. There has to be a balance though. The kids need time to play together. The kids need time to play apart. My husband and I need time to play with the kids. We need time to play with each other and we need time to play apart. So how does that … Continue reading

Ice Cream Soda Day!

I’ll bet you didn’t know it, but June 20th is Ice Cream Soda Day. I didn’t know it until just a little while ago. It seems as though more and more special days are coming up that I have never heard of before. Ice Cream Soda Day though is a good one. It brought back some special memories for me anyway. When I was about 5 or 6 we lived in the city where everything was within walking distance. All the important things to a kid anyway. There was the penny candy store, the ice cream fountain, the movie theater … Continue reading

Counting Down to Earth Hour

Eight o’clock sharp is lights out at our home, though this Saturday we may be pushing bedtime back about 30 minutes. My six-year-old will probably sleep through Earth Hour, but it certainly won’t go unnoticed by others in our home. There’s nothing quite like spending Saturday night in the dark in order to support the fight against climate change. For the fourth year in a row, large chunks of the world’s population will power down their tech-heavy lives to celebrate Earth Hour. For 60 minutes beginning at 8:30 p.m. local time the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) is asking that we … Continue reading

The Death of Family Dinners

My daughter spent the day with her best friend M last week. The two girls are inseparable, which is why I wasn’t surprised when M’s mom called to ask if my daughter could stay for dinner. I agreed and we set up a pick up time for later that evening. I ended up getting to M’s house early and was concerned that I would be interrupting dinner (or at least clean up time), but to my surprise as soon as I got out of my car the girls came barreling toward me to show off their freshly painted nails. M’s … Continue reading

Kids, Parents, Fast Food and NON-Melting Ice Cream

Forget about parental guilt. We’ve all done it from time to time. Heck, some do it on a daily basis. I’m referring to the time honored tradition (see: bad habit) of using the fast-food drive-thru as a culinary crutch. While you may not be a fan of the high sodium selections, let’s face it; the convenience of shouting into a metal kiosk, and almost instantaneously receiving a bag of food, simply can’t be beat. What’s more, fast-food restaurants are everywhere. They’re right there. All. The. Time. On the way home from soccer practice, on the way to grandma’s, in between … Continue reading

Toy Invasion

Is there a room in your house that doesn’t have a single toy in it? Yesterday I realized that the only place in our home that has not been infiltrated by my preschooler’s toys is the laundry room. And that room only qualifies as the “winner” if I don’t count the tiny pile of plastic animals I extracted from my daughter’s pockets the other day. The jungle creatures have temporarily set up residence on top of the dryer. The rest of our abode looks like the inside of a daycare facility. There are piles of plastic dinosaurs in the hallway, … Continue reading

Are You a Facebook Parent?

Between parenting a preschooler, working three jobs, training for a marathon, and keeping my home presentable, I barely have time to wash my face, so the idea of creating and maintaining a Facebook page is beyond the bottom of my priority list. While the social networking site may be off my radar screen, for other parents it is the center of their universe. Personally, I always considered Facebook to be a phenomenon reserved for teens and 20-somethings, who wanted to keep up with their school chums. But, that was before I showed up for playgroup at my former colleague’s home … Continue reading

Living Near Your Parents—Good or Bad?

Isn’t ironic that as teenagers all we wanted to do was to get as far away from our parents as possible, but as soon as we settle down and have a family all of a sudden we wish they lived closer? It might not be true in all cases, but a new survey shows that a majority of Americans age 30 to 45 with children desire to live closer to their parents or other family members. My family lives 5000 miles away and my 4-year-old begs me to get us on “the big plane to Hawaii” every single day. Needless … Continue reading