Posts in category "Parenting"

Six reasons I want to be Ma from "Little House on the Prairie"

Six reasons I want to be Ma from "Little House on the Prairie"
Sure, life is hard when you have to worry about malaria. But here's how Ma got it right.
  1. Ma cooks organic. Maybe the family eats gamey meat, or fish for three months straight, but it's all fresh. Laura and Mary get candy once a year, on Christmas. I think about all the food my kids eat with added sugar, even though I'm fairly vigilant, and it astounds me.
2) Ma gets her workouts in. You know your jiggly triceps? Ma doesn't. It's called churning butter, washing clothes by hand, and every other task that she does. I find it ironic that we've invented all of these modern day conveniences, but now we have to squeeze in a workout, because we're not getting the exercise we once used to. 3) Ma's kids have no toys. Laura's doll for the first six years of her life is a corn cob. A. Corn. Cob...

Training my 5-year-old for Disney: three benefits I didn't expect

Training my 5-year-old for Disney: three benefits I didn't expect
Your mom tells you that you're going to DisneyWorld: YAY! Your mom tells you that you're going to walk to get ready for it: BOO! Or so I thought. This kid loves walking with his mom. *tear* Sure: I bribe him with sweets and LEGOS. Don't you use bribery to accomplish your workouts? To be honest, I just didn't think it would work. I thought that once he'd earned the first LEGO set, he'd lose interest. But as we're finishing our two mile walk yesterday (per his request), he gets all excited: "Mommy! If we walk two miles tomorrow, we'll be at 20 miles! I can get my new LEGO set! Can we please walk two miles tomorrow?" Who is this kid? I severely underestimated the power of ice cream and LEGOS. Here's how I'm training my five year old for Disney, and here are three benefits that I didn't expect: ...

What I learned from yelling at my child

What I learned from yelling at my child
"Can you please go get your brother some socks?" I huffed at my 4.5 year old. It is one of those mornings where everything is taking longer than you think it will, or should. "Why do I have to do EVERYTHING?!" he responded, stomping up the stairs. "You, do everything?" I think to myself. I feel my body tense up as I think of all the things I've done and still have to do to get our family ready for a trip. "I can't find them, Mommy," he whines. "He's not looking hard enough. He knows where the damn socks are," I say to myself as I clench my jaw in frustration. "Well, I don't know what to tell you," I say. "They're up there. In the top left drawer." ("Does he know which is his left?" I'm annoyed, so I tell myself that I don't care if he knows or not.) "Mommy, I can't! They're not here." His request is changing now from a whine to a genuine plea. My ears burn hot. "Why can't he just find them so we can GO? Try a different drawer!" I say in my head. "Okay, if you can't help Mommy, then I guess you can't have a play date." Boom. Anger in full force. I've chosen to give in. To threaten, to be a bully. To be everything that we, as mothers, try to protect our children against....
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10 random reasons to vacation that only moms will understand

10 random reasons to vacation that only moms will understand
Sure, everyone gets excited about vacation. But you do not know sheer delight until you're #vacationmom. #vacationmom is NOT a mom on a vacation WITH her kids. That, by definition, is not a vacation. Well said, The Onion. Vacation = "freedom or release from duty." A four day bachelorette party in Las Vegas? THAT is a vacation. In a super scientific poll via text messaging friends, I present 10 random reasons to vacation that only moms will understand: ...

Top 10 reasons to visit the zoo this winter

Top 10 reasons to visit the zoo this winter
I hate zoos. You can read about it here. So, why the top 10 list? My four year old and I are studying Arctic and Antarctic animals. Where else can you go to see polar bears and penguins in the same place? So, even though I've been underwhelmed by my last few trips, we gave Brookfield Zoo another try. Here are the top 10 reasons to visit the zoo this winter: ...

All I want for Christmas...is less

All I want for Christmas...is less. And I took four hours and one trip to Goodwill to make that happen. One of my goals for 2016 is to "lesson plan" more for the kids; to use toys more intentionally. It's hard to do this when you don't know what you have or where you have it. So, I purged. I had to be faced with our own ridiculousness, so I brought all the toys into one room. Check out our family's ridiculousness in the gallery below...
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I thought Star Wars was stupid until I became a mom

I thought Star Wars was stupid until I became a mom
It's pretty well documented that I hate science. This includes science fiction and Star Wars. It just all seems too fake to me. Who are ALL these stupid characters? Why the stupid names? Why all the stupid species? (I didn't even know what a wookie was, but I was sure that I didn't like the obnoxious sounding furry character.) Then, my cabaret group, The Chicago Red Line, decided to perform a Star Wars spoof for our fall show. Can you guess my reaction? This show is going to be... S-T-U-P-I-D...

Why you should talk to your 4-year-old about Patrick Kane

Why you should talk to your 4-year-old about Patrick Kane
(This post is in response to the allegations that Patrick Kane raped a woman.) We sat at the breakfast table on Sunday, and I said to my husband, "I"m going to talk to our son about Patrick Kane." He said, "Okay," looking visibly confused and also wondering how the hell I was going to explain accused rape to a 4 year old. "So, buddy, something kind of bad and sad happened with Patrick Kane. There's a girl that says he was trying to kiss her and she didn't want to be kissed, but that he forced her to kiss him." "Why did he want to kiss her?" Fair question. "She was probably really pretty," I offered. Four year old considers this. "Why didn't she want to kiss him?" "Well, because sometimes, you know how we ask you to hug someone and you don't want to? It's kind of like that. You have to hug family, like Grandma and Grandpa, but it's your choice to hug, high five or fist bump other friends. This girl didn't want to kiss him and he kept forcing her to. It's not okay to force someone else's body to do something that they don't want to do." "Yeah, I didn't feel like hugging friends at brunch at Chicago." "I know, buddy, and that's okay. Even when Daddy is doing the tickling game, sometimes you don't like what he's doing, and you tell him to stop. If someone is doing something to your body that doesn't feel good, or makes you feel funny, then you should definitely tell them to stop." "Why was she pretty?" Ah, yes. Back to non-relevant questions. That's fine. We got through the main point: why you should talk to your 4-year-old about Patrick Kane....

What do I DO with these kids all summer?! Here's your answer.

What do I DO with these kids all summer?! Here's your answer.
What do I DO with these kids all summer?! Here's your answer: Plan, plan, plan.  Here are six ways to keep you and yours from going crazy:...
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You don't have to be Jewish to celebrate Shabbat

You don't have to be Jewish to celebrate Shabbat
What do I know about Shabbat? Well, I taught at a Jewish pre-school for a year, so let me indulge you with my deep comprehension as understood by three year olds. Every Friday, we would
  • bake challah
  • light candles
  • sing songs with the rabbi
Fast forward 10 years, and I'm a mother of two. Our Friday tradition is continuously evolving. As it stands now, we:
  • cook a home made pizza; eat a special dessert
  • light our tea lights
  • do dance party
  • I wear "fancy pants" (patterned leggings that are requested by my three year old on a weekly basis)
...