Planning a road trip during Covid summer #2

Planning a road trip during Covid summer #2
I am So. Excited. For. SUMMER! I’ve been neglecting laundry and my email this week, in exchange for road trip planning. Below is what I’ve come up with, and my thought process along the way. Our inspiration was Niagara Falls. (If you’re ever in the mood to sit a room of your family’s own farts,... Read more »

The one thing I will never forgive myself for

The one thing I will never forgive myself for
We gave away our dog. Our Sophie. This post is six years in the making, because this happened in February of 2015. I will never forgive myself for giving away the perfect dog. My husband reminds me that she wasn't perfect: she had separation anxiety and she would scrape the paint and wood off of the doorways. She'd bark for hours and really piss off the other apartment tenants. Even when we moved to the 'burbs, our neighbors on either side could hear her. But she did all that because she loved us. Unconditionally. And I didn't return her unconditional love. I'd get annoyed with her scratching, her barking, her being in the way all the time. After years of turning this over in my mind, I'm realizing that I have a hard time giving unconditional love. If you don't do as the world expects or as I expect, then watch out. What the world gave me, right before we gave away Sophie, was my second son. The child that knocked me off my parenting pedestal. Nothing about him was or is easy. As it turns out, though, people frown on you for giving away your children...

5 books to make you hate snow a little less

5 books to make you hate snow a little less
I love reading to my kids. It's something that I can do if I'm tired, hungover, or...I don't know...stuck in my house with them for 10 months straight?! When all I feel like doing is lying on the couch, reading reminds me that I'm a halfway decent parent. I organize our books by seasons/holidays: snow/winter, Valentine's, St. Patrick's, Easter, spring/trees/bugs, gay Pride, 4th of July, summer, kings/castles/dragons, back to school, fall, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Our collection rests on the top shelf in my closet (mostly because my middle child wants to read Halloween books 24/7/365). This also keeps them a little more special, since they're not out all of the time. While holiday books remain my favorite, these five books help me appreciate the snow. For most of us, it's easy to love the other seasons. Cold, dreary January in Chicago? Not so much. But these books warm me up to wintertime...just a little...
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12 days of Covid

12 days of Covid
On the twelfth day of Covid, my true love gave to me, twelve teachers teaching... Dear Lord, our teachers are AMAZING. I am blown away by their commitment to educate our children in the strangest of circumstances. Eleven days sans piping... You know what complicates life at a time when you're asked to stay in your home? Not being able to poop in your home. Good times. Ten lawyers leaping... but to no avail. Democracy FTW! Nine ladies dancing... into the White House! Woot woot! Eight bars of Milka... Me, every time I went to the store: This pandemic is hard on me the kids. I should probably bring a new treat home every time, so I they have something to look forward to. ...

10 Thanksgiving books for kids

I'm thankful that the oldest can read to the youngest.
With Turkey Day a mere two weeks away, here is a list of 10 Thanksgiving books for kids.

Family Meeting: something to start before you have teenagers

Family Meeting: something to start before you have teenagers
We've been doing Family Meeting for over three years now. Just listen to testimonials from a few participants: Husband: I like that we established it when they're young so that it's normal when they're older. I like that it allows them to give input on our weekend. I like the penguins. I think it gave a logical venue to discuss the race stuff. 9 year old: I kind of like the planning stuff and knowing what we're doing. 6 year old: Well, I don't know if I even think it's fun. Fair enough. So, what IS Family Meeting...
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What I've been doing with my white boys since George Floyd's death

What I've been doing with my white boys since George Floyd's death
My husband and I are raising three white, middle class, native English speaking, American boys. They will be the most privileged when they grow up. We talk about how privilege and responsibility go hand in hand; you can't have one without the other. The question I often ask myself is: "If their voices will be heard the loudest, what do I want them to say?"  Here's what I've been doing with my white boys since George Floyd's death: ...

Planning my 10 year old trip

Planning my 10 year old trip
Mom: What is this blog post about? Logan: This blog post is about me going on a trip with my parents. Mom: What's the reason for this trip? Logan: I'm going on this trip, because I'm going to turn 10 next year, and my parents want to go on a trip with just me...

10 children's books about Pride

"And Tango Makes Three" is written by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell. It's based on the true story of two daddy penguins who raised their daughter, Tango, in NYC's Central Park Zoo. THE MESSAGE: Learning how to be a family and taking care of each other is not gender specific.
I love our library. And oh, how I miss it right now! Last year, I asked if they could set up a display for books about Pride, and they got right to work. Here are some of my favorites.
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Saturday Surprise: creating a tradition in pandemic times

Saturday Surprise: creating a tradition in pandemic times
To state the obvious, shelter-in-place is wearing on me. I miss my friends. I am done exercising by myself. I yearn for hugs so much that I had a dream about embracing random people. But every time I want to complain during this pandemic, I remind myself how truly good my life is. As I write this, family members of George Floyd are planning a funeral. Not only was his death unjust and unnecessary, but he and his family will be robbed of a "normal" service, due to the coronavirus. This past month, Ahmaud Arbery's mom did not decorate his home with balloons or plan a Zoom call with family on his birthday. She mourned him. Others honored him by walking or running 2.23 miles. Friends of ours have lost spouses and parents to COVID and non-COVID related illnesses. None of them have gotten to experience the full grieving process, surrounded by loved ones. So, yeah: I'll remove my complaint of "boredom" from the pity pile...