Biography

I am a freelance writer and mother of three boys. Unless you have three boys you can't imagine how oddly people react when they hear that. ...

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Teresa M. Pelham

Teresa M. Pelham

Mommy Minute

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We Are All Good-Enough School Moms

April 23, 2014

It seems like a lifetime ago. I’d bring my kiddo to an orientation session at his new preschool, and I’d judge myself against how amazing I assumed all of the other moms were. They knew what they were doing. I didn’t. They wore cool shoes. I didn’t.

  • Surviving a Road Trip with Teenagers

    April 15, 2014

    My boys and I are doing a pretty long road trip this week, which is best explained on my other blog: Click right here to read about it. (We’re rescuing a litter of puppies in Tennessee.)

  • Epinephrine for Dummies

    April 10, 2014

    Click right here to watch my educational yet ridiculous video of how to use the new Auvi-Q epinephrine injector. Please, do try this at home, but just be a little more careful.

  • Follow Your Dreams or Follow the Money?

    April 6, 2014

    This story breaks my heart. But the writer's message is something our young adults face in today's Follow Your Passion/Make Lots of Money world. Which path will your kids choose?

  • Deciphering Financial Aid Offers (For Those Lucky Enough to Receive Them)

    April 3, 2014

    After reading this story about how to understand financial aid for prospective college students, all I can say is that I’m glad my kids are smarter than me. There’s no way I’ll be able to figure this stuff out without help. But in the same way that teenagers act as tech support for their parents every day, they’ll likely grasp this stuff way better than their folks can.

  • Overbooked and Stressed Out

    March 23, 2014

    And I thought I was busy as a young person. Today's youth are pushing themselves (and being pushed) to busy themselves to the point of exhaustion. This here piece addresses the madness created when we try to be as busy as everyone else seems to be.

  • Should Pediatricians Treat Non-Vaccinated Children?

    March 19, 2014

    Years ago I told our family’s pediatrician about a friend who was delaying her children’s vaccinations. They’d eventually get most of them -- at least the ones required for entrance to public school -- but she was afraid of what she’d read about a link between vaccinations and autism.

  • Kids Learn from Screwing Up

    March 13, 2014

    This right here is a great little piece. I totally agree that letting your kids learn from their own bad decisions is a huge part of parenting. If we control every move they make toward adulthood (like packing a 13-year-old's overnight bag) they'll never learn to take care of themselves. 

  • Is Voluntourism Actually Helping?

    March 8, 2014

    High school students applying to colleges are now being advised to avoid focusing on their “voluntourism” trips when writing their college essays. Having your parents pay the bill so you can spend a week “helping” in a sunny locale is not necessarily going to impress anyone, we’re told.

  • Forget Everything You've Learned About the SAT

    March 6, 2014

    Just when a whole generation of kids finally learned how to take the SATs, the College Board is changing everything.

  • Creativity Rocks!

    February 27, 2014

    I've got one of those kids who will spend hours cutting paper snowflakes to decorate for Christmas -- usually right after Halloween. Of course, they go well with the little paper jack-o-lanterns he'd made back in September. 

  • Chill Out About the SATs, Hmm?

    February 19, 2014

    So many things can determine whether your young adult will do well in college. Good grades in high school are usually a major factor, for sure, but also a commitment to a few interesting activities means a lot.

  • Snow Days, Bob Steele and Flushing Ice Cubes

    February 13, 2014

    Before the kids even set their alarm clocks last night, before they had a chance to put spoons under their pillows in the hopes of guaranteeing a snow day, we got the text message letting us know that school would be closed today.

  • This is Not a Review of "The Lego Movie"

    February 9, 2014

    I was wrong about “The Lego Movie,” apparently.

  • The Cheerios Debate

    February 3, 2014

    I'm not really sure why people are talking about this. First, really? In 2014 we're having a discussion about whether children should be adopted by parents who look like them? And second, the example being cited -- the new Cheerios commercial -- appears to feature a biracial child and her birth parents, not her adoptive parents.

  • 17K with a 14-Year-Old Kid, Part 2

    January 28, 2014

    A lot of training has occurred in the two weeks since my eighth grader and I decided to do a 17K trail run. Seeing as I’ve never run a distance even close to ten-and-a-half miles and the race is just 11 weeks away, I’ve got a lot to do if I want to keep up with my zero percent body fat teenager.

  • SAT Day No Time for Teachable Moments

    January 26, 2014

    If you’ve got a kid with no sense of urgency (does any kid actually have a sense of urgency?) you’ve likely let him be late for stuff or even miss stuff in order to teach him a lesson. Can’t find your karate belt? No karate for you today.

  • 17K with a 14-Year-Old Kid, Part 1

    January 16, 2014

    Me: “Hey, you wanna do a 17K trail run in April?”

  • Knock it off with the sexting, OK?

    January 13, 2014

    Kids, kids, kids. What part of "DO NOT SEXT" do you not understand? Look at the mess in which you can find yourself.

  • Yep. Another Story About Jenny McCarthy and Autism.

    January 5, 2014

    If Jenny McCarthy had never blamed her son’s autism diagnosis on the vaccinations he received as a baby, this would never be a big story. But she did. And it is. 

  • Resolutions, Anyone?

    January 1, 2014

    My go-to New Year’s resolution for many years has been some variation on the same ones most of us make each January: Lose weight, get to the gym, be more organized.

  • And Now For A Bit of Perspective

    December 31, 2013

    We can learn so much from our children, including resilience and compassion. This story is sure to inspire those who read it, and maybe even help us forget our first-world problems for a moment or two.

  • Boys Won't Always Be Boys

    December 27, 2013

    This piece on raising boys to be good guys really resonated with me. I like to think I've got it in me to talk this frankly with my boys about such important topics. But, in reality, maybe I'll just muster enough guts to make them read it. That's a step.

  • No More Shopping. Step Away from the Car Keys.

    December 23, 2013

    Are you done? Just one more trip to CVS for some stocking stuffers?

  • Longing for Pre-Digital Christmases

    December 19, 2013

    This here Huffington Post essay so nicely describes what, exactly, many of us miss about the Christmases of our youth. It is truly not the same being able to watch "Frosty" on DVD in July, and watching kids open gifts that will result in more screen time -- a concept not really discussed 30 years ago.

  • Black Santa a Huge Hit

    December 16, 2013

    I love this story about popular LA-area mall Santa portrayed by an African-American man. But I love the happy face on the lucky kid sitting on his lap even more. Take that, Megyn Kelly.

  • From Newtown to Hartford, Love Wins

    December 15, 2013

    Last January, in the tear-filled weeks following the horrible attack at Sandy Hook Elementary School, we decided to donate a copy of “Roxy’s Forever Home” to all Sandy Hook students. Many of our friends donated books, which were all dedicated and signed. We talked several times with school staff, choosing a date for Roxy to bring some therapy to Newtown, as many other therapy dogs had.

  • Trying to Fight Nature

    December 13, 2013

    Until yesterday, I had bought exactly two Christmas presents. I’m kind of behind, especially since all three of my kids’ birthdays happen between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

  • When News Reporters Become News Makers: Katie Couric and Gardasil

    December 11, 2013

    In similar fashion to Jenny McCarthy’s declaration that vaccinations lead to autism, Katie Couric recently ticked off those pushing for young people to be vaccinated against HPV, (human papillomavirus, a sexually-transmitted virus that can lead to certain to cancers.)

  • How Much Will You Owe?

    December 7, 2013

    My argument-prone high school junior son and I had a conversation the other day that actually ended with us agreeing on something: If a decent college wants to give you money, go there.

  • $3000 for Stitches?

    December 2, 2013

    When the boys were little, we were pretty much frequent flyers at the emergency room. "Has your child been treated here before?" was usually followed by "Oh, probably."

  • Good Things Can Come from Teens Tweeting

    November 29, 2013

    Click right here to read about my super-smart niece and how tweeting saved the day. See? It's not all bad.

  • Not Necessarily Norman Rockwell

    November 27, 2013

    During this season, which somehow convinces us that all families look the same, it's nice to read a cool piece like this. It's a nice reminder that every type of family is valid and equal and awesome.

  • Exercise and Your Baby's Brain

    November 24, 2013

    Many of us used pregnancy as an excuse to not exercise and to eat more ice cream, but there's a lot to be said for exercising while pregnant. Now, in addition to the obvious health benefits for the mother, there's new research saying exercise can help a developing baby's brain to be more awesome.

  • Learning How to Take the SATs

    November 17, 2013

    The Teenager is now four sessions into a 12-session SAT prep course. Go ahead: Guess how much this course cost us. Nope, a little more.

  • Hey, College Admissions Officers! Have You Read My Tweets?

    November 15, 2013

    Kids applying to colleges obviously need to think about how their social media profiles could negatively affect their chances of getting into college. That’s been a no-brainer for years.

  • How to not be squirrelly around people with disabilities

    November 11, 2013

    Considering that we adults don’t always know what to do when we see someone with a disability, it’s obvious that we need to help our kids navigate this part of life. You know what I’m talking about: You’re at the grocery store, and your eyes fall upon a guy with one arm. Or walking with a limp. And you immediately look away, so he doesn’t think you’re looking at him. But you kind of want to.

  • So What if You Don't Push Your Kids to Go to College?

    November 7, 2013

    This is a conversation my friends and I have often: Is college for everyone? Considering the high percentage of high school students taking the SATs in 2013 vs. 1983, it would sure seem that way.

  • "Where, exactly, is Waldo?" and other awesome college essay questions

    November 2, 2013

    As a person who recently read a handful of college essays, I applaud these colleges for coming up with offbeat, inspiring essay questions.

  • Oddly Oddly Onker, My First Conker

    October 26, 2013

    I don’t know any parents not struggling with the amount of screen time their children experience every day. I’ve written about this before, and I’m always grateful to not the only one disappointed in the amount of free/outdoor/unstructured time our kids enjoy.

  • Majorly Lucrative Majors

    October 23, 2013

    Is there a college student in your life (and spending your money) with an undeclared major? If you'd like a shot at being paid back for all of that tuition, pass this along: A look at the most and least lucrative college majors.

  • Sharing Breast Milk

    October 21, 2013

    Our culture is often uncomfortable, for some reason, with even the idea of breastfeeding. While it's perfectly normal to have bottles of cow's milk in one's fridge, the sight of human's milk next to the orange juice freaks some people out.

  • Never Negotiate with Informed Parents

    October 14, 2013

    My smart, committed teacher friend brought this story to my attention. As she notes, the Common Core Standards represent a “dumbing down of the curriculum” in many districts that are doing well without them.

  • What Could Be Better Than Giant Puppets?

    October 11, 2013

  • Torture by Testing

    October 7, 2013

    Everything changes this year, as you’ve probably heard. But even after attending my children’s curriculum nights, I’m still confused about the Common Core Standards. Actually, I’m even more confused. Lots of catch phrases were tossed around, and plenty of attention was given to testing. After a particularly long presentation, we weary parents, whose butts were numb from sitting for so long, were asked if we had any questions. (Please, nobody ask any questions. Please.)

  • Is an NRA T-Shirt Offensive?

    October 4, 2013

    What does your children’s school define as offensive in terms of dress code?

  • The Science Behind New Baby Smell

    October 2, 2013

    Twin babies entered the world and our family just hours ago. My cousin and his wife are the proud parents of tiny Alexander and even tinier Victoria.

  • Children and Accidental Shootings

    September 29, 2013

    This story is heartbreaking. We parents aren't perfect, but being able to eliminate the possibility of our kids becoming a statistic makes keeping guns locked and unloaded a no-brainer.

  • Put Down the *#$%@ Phone

    September 23, 2013

    I still have faith that we will soon lose interest in our smart phones. It will happen. 

  • Wishing those Baby Days Away

    September 22, 2013

    Very much like the writer of this piece, I often found myself wishing my kids’ baby days away. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the reaching of milestones and passing of phases. But don’t do it, oh mothers of young children. Soak it in. Write stuff down. And take some pictures, will you?

  • The Attack of the Snack Parent

    September 17, 2013

    How long is a youth soccer game anyway? Like, two 20-minute periods, right? Our kids can't survive that long without a snack?

  • Just as I was about to toss the kids' computer out onto the driveway ...

    September 15, 2013

    Minecraft -- the latest computer game that's turning my children into zombies -- is apparently not all bad.

  • What's in Your Lunchbox?

    September 13, 2013

    I think there’s a certain number of years during which a parent can pack a decent lunch. That whole Darwin thing kicks in at some point -- six years? -- and then kids are left to fend for themselves. Considering that I started making lunch for my oldest son some 12 years ago, I’m all done.

  • Did You Drink During Pregnancy?

    September 11, 2013

    I’m a fan of wine. In fact, I’m pretty sure that wine is one of the main reasons I never walked out on my children and boarded a plane to the Bahamas during their early years.

  • Answering Questions about 9/11

    September 10, 2013

    In September 2008, 2011, and now in 2013, I’ve been “interviewed” by each of my boys as part of our school district’s sixth grade curriculum. The assignment: Ask an adult various scripted questions about the events of Sept. 11, 2001.

  • Bully Nation

    September 3, 2013

    Are we overusing the word "bullying?"

  • Creative Messes

    August 30, 2013

    A series of connected cardboard boxes has occupied the foyer in my house for several months. There’s a cardboard chimney, several signs warning visitors not to enter (or loiter or hover or otherwise annoy its owner.) We trip over it and vacuum around it and it’s been there so long that we hardly notice it anymore.

  • Bulldog Face: The Next Modern Health Crisis?

    August 26, 2013

    Sometimes it feels as if I've been asleep for five years and know nothing. Our faces are becoming more like a bulldog? Is that right?

  • Does Violence on the Screen Lead to Violence in Real Life?

    August 25, 2013

    To someone who is totally turned off and creeped out by violent video games, this debate seems like a no-brainer. But others disagree, saying that violent media content isn't so bad. And maybe that's the point. Maybe those who are fine with repeated exposure to violence in the media are proving the argument that it numbs us to its nastiness. Yep, I'm a prude.

  • Censorship Vs. Safety

    August 20, 2013

    Remember the olden days (10 to 15 years ago) when everyone made a big deal about ensuring that the family computer was in a public part of the house?

  • Don't Write Them Off: Help Them Fly

    August 15, 2013

    It’s so easy to judge a troubled young person by his bad deeds. It’s much more difficult to consciously see past his mistakes and give him some motivation to do better, to do right.

  • What Teacher Did Your Kid Get?

    August 10, 2013

    A principal I know told me that in years past, irate parents would line up outside her office on the last day of school, demanding that their children be assigned to a different teacher for the coming school year.

  • "The Lanyard" by Billy Collins

    August 8, 2013

    The amazing and accessible poet Billy Collins read this here poem last night at the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival. (Oh, just play it. It's not even three minutes long.) I can't imagine that anyone present at the Hillstead Museum appreciated it as much as a mom whose kids are presently away at camp.

  • Deep Thoughts During a Week Without the Kids

    August 7, 2013

    These are the things about which I think when my boys are away at camp and I’m supposed to be working:

  • Alex Trebek is a Meanie

    August 6, 2013

    I don't watch Jeopardy! often enough to know if people get away with spelling things wrong during the written Final Jeopardy round.

  • We'd Rather You Not, But if You Must ...

    August 5, 2013

    These football helmet warning labels kind of remind me of the tobacco warning labels:

  • "The Silver Star" and Good Enough Parenting

    July 31, 2013

    I just finished reading Jeannette Walls' "The Silver Star," which, like her "Glass Castle" memoir, reminds us that we're not such bad parents after all.

  • Welcome Back, Measles

    July 25, 2013

    Has your child been vaccinated? If you've taken the advice of fraudulent doctor Andrew Wakefield and Playboy Playmate Jenny McCarthy, probably not. And now kids are starting to pay for it.

  • Are We Really Ever Going to Run Out of Plastic Bags?

    July 24, 2013

    Here's a pitch I just received. And here are my questions:

  • Dear Justin Bieber

    July 20, 2013

    Dearest Justin,

  • Big Dudes Need Not Apply

    July 16, 2013

    This week, thousands of Boy Scouts -- and for the first time ever, girls, too -- are in West Virginia for the quadrennial Jamboree. Three scouts from my kids’ troop are attending.

  • Polo, Princes and Pregnancy

    July 14, 2013

    We’ve all heard those stories of the dad who just barely makes it in time to witness his child’s birth. Although The Husband was present for all three of our kids’ entrances to the world, we were more than a little worried that he wouldn’t be there for the third little bugger, since the second one arrived within an hour of my water breaking.

  • Chocolate and Algebra

    July 8, 2013

    Actually, it's Algebra II, which I believe one of my boys will be taking this fall. Do I have to know which one? It's July. In any case, this looks pretty cool.

  • Kids with Potty Mouths and their Terrible Parents

    July 3, 2013

    You really should read this. So f*****g funny.

  • 59 Days

    June 27, 2013

     

  • Is Obesity Really a Disease?

    June 21, 2013

    I can’t quite wrap my head around the American Medical Association’s decision to label obesity a disease.

  • Slim Pickin's Make For Life Lesson

    June 17, 2013

     

  • Sorry to be Debbie Downer

    June 15, 2013

    Even on a sunny day, these statistics are gloomy.

  • My Poor, Neglected Second Child

    June 11, 2013

    I hate to admit that I read almost none of the press releases emailed to me. This is especially sad because: a) I have many friends in PR and b) I occasionally send press releases to promote my book and it kills me to think people don’t read my emails.

  • Sharing the Love with Newtown

    June 8, 2013

     

  • Put Down the Phone and Drive

    June 7, 2013

    What a pain in the neck. Click right here to read today's column on my first-hand experience with texting and driving. Today at 5:20 p.m. I'll be on the Mary Jones Show on WDRC AM 1360 to talk about this problem that doesn't seem to be going away.

  • How Nice is Your Lunch Lady?

    June 6, 2013

    One of my kids buys the school lunch 180 days a year. I have no idea what he eats, but he seems to be growing. (His younger brother would rather eat dirt than cafeteria food, and packs his own strange lunch every day.)

  • Because All the Cool Kids Drive Minivans

    June 3, 2013

     

  • Hacking and Coughing and Wheezing, Oh My!

    May 29, 2013

    My kids have pretty bad seasonal allergies, but this year -- because I am a thoughtless and heartless mom -- I’ve put them through the spring allergy season three times. No, really.

  • Am I Forgetting Something?

    May 21, 2013

     

  • We're Totally, Like, Going to the Mall After Algebra

    May 13, 2013

    It’s great that these Chinese students have time to enjoy “activities” while studying here in the United States. But I kind of expected that those activities would have been exercise or music or something more worthwhile than shopping.

  • Happy Mother's Day to Me

    May 10, 2013

    It sure is swell when your kids come through on Mother’s Day: Breakfast in bed, gift cards for spa treatments, an empty dishwasher.

  • Bacteria and the Binky

    May 9, 2013

     

  • Hanna, Age 12, Guest Blogger

    April 29, 2013

    Hello! My name is Hanna. I live in Farmington and go to school in West Hartford at a great school called Renbrook. I am twelve years old and in seventh grade. For this year, my father lives in Washington, D.C. and works for Senator Rockefeller when he was accepted as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy fellow. This past Thursday was Bring Your Sons and Daughters to Work Day in the Senate and I got to go! It was a big event with nearly one hundred people all directed into a small room with food and beverage. Kids ranged from about three to eighteen and the room was bustling with important people. Everyone seemed to be on there best behavior and I tried to do the same.

  • Texting During the Breakfast Club

    April 28, 2013

    “If the Breakfast Club took place today, all those kids would just be silently texting about their shitty Saturday and never make friends with each other.”

  • She Blinded Me with Science

    April 23, 2013

    My kids are total slackers. Check out this 11-year-old kid taking the world by storm.

  • Is this Politically Correct?

    April 21, 2013

    Members of the middle dude’s lacrosse team received their new uniforms today. While the parents spent much of the first half of the game discussing whether they were politically correct, the kids loved them.

  • The Great Puppy Rescue, Last Leg

    April 18, 2013

    Can you possibly forgive me for using the same post for both of my blogs today? How about if I tell you that all eight puppies decided to poop at the same time tonight at the Red Roof Inn in some town in either Virginia or West Virginia? Sue me. Fire me. I can take it.

  • Enjoying the Ride

    April 14, 2013

    Today we watched Spring appear.

  • The Great Puppy Rescue of 2013

    April 11, 2013

     

  • Boy Scout Survey Won't Mean Much if All Votes Aren't Counted

    April 5, 2013

    You may have heard about a survey the Boy Scouts of America recently announced. The results of the survey -- which asked questions including whether a lesbian should be able to lead a cub scout den -- were supposed to guide those in charge at the national level, when they decide next month if gay youth and leaders should be allowed to participate in the organization.

  • Burger King's New "Healthy" Burgers

    April 4, 2013

     

  • What is a Reach School? What Am I Missing?

    April 1, 2013

    Am I missing something? Why is this blogger referring to a "reach school" as a school "I thought I could get into despite the competitive nature of its admissions process?" Hmm. He was "dumbfounded" and "bummed."

  • Running, Walking, Ringing the Cowbell for Sandy Hook

    March 28, 2013

    Click right here to read tomorrow's column on the Sandy Hook 5K Run for the Families.

  • Got A Minute?

    March 21, 2013

    Although it might make you cry a little, watch this minute-long video with your kids. It's worth it.

  • Everyday's a Holiday Somewhere!

    March 19, 2013

    I really wish I had written this.

  • Opening Minds, Changing Rules

    March 18, 2013

    Did you see this story in the New York Times this morning?

  • Sharing is Good

    March 16, 2013

    Journalism professors of olden times (when I went to school) taught us about the inverted pyramid. News stories have all the important stuff up at the top, and should have the ability to be cut off anywhere at the end.

  • Be All You Can Be: It'll Look Great on Your Transcript

    March 10, 2013

    It starts as competition among parents to have the kid who is the best at everything. Karate, Little League, soccer, violin.

  • Don't Worry. Test Happy.

    March 6, 2013

    I’ve told my fifth grader every year since he was a third grader that he shouldn’t worry about the Connecticut Mastery Test. For some reason, however, he forgets each year and freaks out about his performance.

  • Succeeding the Adderall Way

    March 4, 2013

    With final exams within sight, this excellent rollercoaster of a piece is a must-read for parents of overloaded kids.

  • Twins and Multiples Day at CT Science Center

    February 28, 2013

    Twins, triplets and beyond get in free to the Connecticut Science Center this Sunday. Click right here for more information. 

  • Two Pop Tarts = 12 points

    February 26, 2013

    You’d think that living in a houseful of skinny boys would make it easy for a mom trying to fit into her jeans. They’re skinny, right? They must not eat a lot.

  • Everybody Does It (at least once)

    February 24, 2013

    A decade or so ago I admitted to a friend that I'd left the kids in the car a few times, and I didn't think it was so bad. I'd done it in places where I could still see the car, which was locked: Dropping an older kid off at karate, for example, while the babies snoozed. My friend then told me she didn't feel comfortable leaving her baby in the car when she drove right up to the public library return slot, even though the front bumper of her car would be about five feet away.

  • One Nation, Under Yoga

    February 21, 2013

    We've all got certain priorities for our kids, but in general, they have something to do with the well-being of your child. You want your child to be safe, nurtured, educated, loved, fed.

  • The Never-Ending School Year

    February 19, 2013

    Because I don’t have a seat on our town’s Board of Education and I’ve never spent hours trying to decipher school budgets I feel kind of funny asking this, but …

  • National Put Your Damn Socks Away Weekend

    February 14, 2013

     

  • The Next Generation of Coke-Heads

    February 11, 2013

     

  • A Better Epi-Pen?

    February 5, 2013

     

  • Adderall and the American Kid

    February 3, 2013

    It's easy to place blame on doctors and drug companies for tragic stories such as this one.

  • Reader Email Day!

    February 1, 2013

    Oh, the emails I get on the days my column appears in print. Click right here to read it. This email is one of my favorites from today:

  • You've Got Mail

    January 29, 2013

     

  • Cooking Dinner and Perhaps Even Enjoying It

    January 22, 2013

     

  • Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader?

    January 17, 2013

    Although this piece in today’s Huffington Post is about how everybody blames teachers for everything that’s wrong with our schools, the part that lazy bloggers like me will highlight is the series of math problems at the bottom.

  • Does Hand Sanitizer Work? How About Cherry ChapStick?

    January 14, 2013

    The only time I ever use hand sanitizer is when someone offers it to me and I feel funny saying that I hate the stuff and I don't think it works. I hate the way it feels on my skin, I hate the way it smells, and the only thing I want to do after using it is wash my hands. Like, with water. And soap.

  • Food Allergies and Bullying

    January 11, 2013

    I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t worry about my food-allergic sons 100 percent of the time they’re away from me. Back when they were preschoolers, I worried that someone would offer them a cookie with walnuts and they wouldn’t know enough to say “no.”

  • Ban Semi-Automatic Weapons. Find Another Hobby.

    January 6, 2013

    Two weeks after the Sandy Hook shooting -- just after I put my son on the school bus -- I read about this man who had made threats to his ex-girlfriend and her son, who most likely goes to school with my youngest son. The man, who is being held on a $2.5 million bond, texted a photo of himself holding, yes, a semi-automatic rifle. He wrote that he was going to go to her son's school, kill him, and "make Sandy Hook look like nothing." While police do not believe the weapon belongs to him, he certainly had access to it at some point.

  • Shorts in January

    January 2, 2013

     

  • Yet Another Good Argument for Marriage Equality

    December 29, 2012

    Here's reason no. 72 everyone should be able to get married: It's good for you!

  • A Parent's Lifelong Nightmare

    December 28, 2012

    Take a moment to read this piece by a parent who lost a child. May we all strive to be supportive when the time comes, and put caring ahead of discomfort.

  • Say No to Snapchat

    December 27, 2012

    You know about Snapchat? Poke? That other one?

  • You Are NOT Going Shopping Tomorrow

    December 22, 2012

    No, you don’t need to go to Target tomorrow.

  • Here's to the Teachers

    December 20, 2012

    I’ve been thinking all week about how teachers of young children are keeping it together in the days following Friday’s school shooting. Yesterday, during my last author visit of the year, I got a little taste of what must be going on in the minds of these committed educators.

  • The Best We Can Do

    December 18, 2012

    This morning my co-blogger Sarah Cody and I appeared on Fox 61 to discuss tips on talking to kids about the horrific tragedy in Newtown.

  • It's Just Not Fair

    December 17, 2012

    Life goes on, and it’s just not fair.

  • Images We Can't Escape

    December 15, 2012

    My mind drifts from one thing to another following the Newtown school shooting, but keeps coming back to the horrific image of parents being required to look at photographs of their beautiful, dead children in order to make a positive identification.

  • Race to Nowhere on DVD!

    December 12, 2012

     

  • To Wii or Not to Wii

    December 8, 2012

     

  • We Don't Need More Stuff, So We Bought A Sheep

    December 4, 2012

     

  • Don't Forget to Breathe

    December 2, 2012

    Something’s up, I tell you.

  • Look Out, Martha Stewart

    December 1, 2012

     

  • Sixteen Sweet Years

    November 27, 2012

     

  • Small Business Saturday

    November 23, 2012

    It’s bad enough that we’d already endured weeks of Christmas commercials before Thanksgiving Day, but this year’s ridiculous idea of having stores open on Thursday really bugged me. I heard a few shoppers on the news today saying that they had to go out and grab these deals because money is tight. Does anyone else see a flaw in this logic? Isn’t that kind of like the shopaholic who points out how much she “saved” by buying so much stuff? How about if you can’t afford to buy lots of stuff, then don’t buy lots of stuff?

  • Off Target

    November 18, 2012

    Because I live in suburbia and it’s 2012, I enjoy a trip to Target probably more than I should.

  • Every Kid's Role Model, 50 Cent

    November 11, 2012

    Until tonight, I had never listened to any of rapper 50 Cent’s music. I know, I’m not a very supportive neighbor.  Otherwise known as Curtis James Jackson III, 50 Cent owns a gigantic house in our school district, and I’d never taken the time to get to know his work. (By the way, he never brought us brownies or otherwise welcomed us to the neighborhood when we moved in, so I guess we’re even.)

  • No Whining Zone

    November 8, 2012

    As I grabbed my keys and ran out the door to drive my youngest dude to school today, there must have been a touch of irritation in my voice when I said “OK, let’s go.” (The bus driver decided to show up early, which we didn’t notice, and so we waited outside making snowballs for 15 minutes until we finally gave up and got in the car.)

  • Run, Baby, Run

    November 4, 2012

     

  • The Candy Trading Floor

    October 31, 2012

    If you’re fortunate enough to live in a town that’s actually allowing residents to trick-or-treat tonight, your kids will likely take part in some sort of candy trading.

  • The DuroMax 10000E has arrived.

    October 29, 2012

    While I am grateful to be the owner of a new generator that will enable our family of five to flush toilets in the coming days, there's a part of me that will miss the experience we had during last year's two power outages. I know. It's crazy.We were stinky and cold and tired from lugging buckets of water from the bathtub. We cleaned our hands with baby wipes or by rinsing them in the icy, dirty snow/water in the tub. This generator will certainly make us more comfortable and will allow our fish to keep swimming happily in their warm tank. We won't lose any frozen food, and we'll even be able to take hot showers (although not every boy in this house will actually do so.)But I will miss our friends' hospitality and warmth extended to us last year. We shared meals, showered, did laundry and charged cell phones. Now will we be sequestered, hunkered down on our own? I sure hope not. I hope that friends who were in our situation last year come hang out at our place and share our dim lights with us. The cookies are just out of the oven and there's enough wine to last us at least until tomorrow. Be safe, be generous and be grateful.

  • The DuroMax 10000E has arrived.

    October 29, 2012

    While I am grateful to be the owner of a new generator that will enable our family of five to flush toilets in the coming days, there’s a part of me that will miss the experience we had during last year’s two power outages.

  • My Love/Hate Relationship with the Boy Scouts

    October 27, 2012

    Here's next week's column. I'm ready for the haters.

  • Not Embracing the Paperless World

    October 24, 2012

    For years I was one of those parents who complained about the ridiculous amount of paper being wasted on fliers sent home from school. I’d often receive three copies of the same announcement -- one in each child’s “Friday Folder.”

  • OMG! Kids are like totally reading!

    October 23, 2012

    A report released today announced that -- despite our worst fears -- young people have not been sucked into the Facebook black hole. They're reading! Like, actual books! 

  • Re-gifting Swag

    October 16, 2012

    This book looks lovely, doesn't it?

  • Are you a Walmart Mom?

    October 15, 2012

  • Farewell, Jill

    October 7, 2012

    Dear Jill:

  • Presidential Debate Bingo

    October 3, 2012

    It's time to pop the popcorn and gather 'round the TV. It's Presidential Debate Bingo! 

  • The Big, Fat E

    September 30, 2012

    I’m really not a fan of amusement parks, places that encourage families to spend money recklessly or port-o-potties. Or overpriced, greasy foods. Or germs.

  • My Butternut Squash Soup Recipe. Really.

    September 28, 2012

    My Thursday Night Butternut Squash Soup Recipe 

  • Chore Plan, Part 2

    September 25, 2012

     

  • In Her Shoes

    September 23, 2012

    Sometimes it's easy to think of those accepting help from the government as one person: An unmotivated slacker with no plan other than to get away with it.

  • The City's Ultimate Bad Call

    September 19, 2012

    A few times a week, The Husband steps away from his 12th floor office and plays Ultimate Frisbee in Bushnell Park. It’s hard to find a downside: He gets some serious exercise, he breathes actual fresh air, he has fun with a bunch of people he’d not normally meet, and he gives his mind a much-needed break from an otherwise stressful job.

  • I Love You. Now Go Away

    September 17, 2012

    The season premiere of the one TV show that I watch was last Tuesday night. (Yes, it’s Parenthood. It’s great, isn’t it?)

  • Coming in Second: A First World Problem

    September 16, 2012

    In our house, we've gotten into the habit of countering certain types of complaining and/or whining with “First world problem.”

  • Product Review: The Candy Corn Oreo

    September 11, 2012

     

  • You Can Do it! (Maybe)

    September 8, 2012

    As parents, we’re supposed to encourage our children to follow their dreams, to try new things, to push themselves.

  • Happy New Year!

    September 4, 2012

    For parents who have spent the summer with their kids, the first day of school is often more about new beginnings and resolutions than most associate with New Year’s Day.

  • New Year = New Clothes?

    August 27, 2012

    Retailers are kind of freaking out right now because many young people are waiting to see what everybody else is wearing before they buy back-to-school clothes.

  • It's in the Mail

    August 23, 2012

    Is there any piece of mail more anticipated by kids than the “Welcome to Team C” letter at the end of summer? Jeez, you’d think they were waiting for a letter from the Publisher’s Clearinghouse or at least a Little Orphan Annie decoder ring.

  • Embracing the Muffin Top

    August 20, 2012

    As I mindlessly fed myself sea salt and vinegar potato chips yesterday, soaked from a 15-year old vs. 44-year old swimming race to the dock, I read this article about women’s obsession with losing their baby fat.

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