Grocery Shopping on a Budget: Teaching Life Skills to My Older Kids

My older two kids (8 and 6) are old enough now that I've begun to feel I should be teaching them life skills beyond using the toilet and bathing. For several months, they have been responsible for folding and putting away their laundry and their three-year-old brother's laundry. Soon, the three-year-old will be assigned to assist them with it, but he's still more of a hindrance than a help. The oldest recently volunteered to completely take over doing their laundry, now that he's finally tall enough to reach the dryer, which is stacked atop the washing machine....more

The Joy of Not Rushing

One of the things I pride myself on is my ability to estimate how long something will take and plan accordingly. I'm rarely late and usually early for appointments, school drop-offs and pick-ups, get-togethers, and so on.Having four kids, two of whom are toddlers, has made everything take a little longer. It took me a little while to learn to pad my time estimates, but I'm pretty much on my game these days....more

Zombies, Run! How an App Got Me to Exercise

The beauty of the couch to 5K program is it's a very clear regimen. There are some variations, but they all use interval training and drills to take you from basically a couch potato to being able to run for 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) in about eight to nine weeks. I chose to use the Zombies, Run! 5K app for my phone to help guide me through the drills. ...more
Awesome! Keep it up!more

I Can't Face Talking to My Son about Robin Williams' Death

I am very, very shaken by the news of Robin Williams' death. I read about it on Facebook yesterday while my oldest son was sitting behind me in the office, using his computer. I couldn't help but verbalize my shock. "Oh my God," I said. "Oh my God. I can't believe it. Oh my God.""What, Mommy?" my son asked. "What happened?""Oh, um, an actor died. I'm just really surprised. He was only 63.""How did he die?"...more

Adventures in Walmart with a Toddler, or Just Buy the Damn Froot Loops

We went to Walmart on Sunday. I hadn't been to Walmart in about a year, because there isn't one near me where I live now. But we went on a trip to visit my mom, and there are several Walmarts near her. I wanted to get things we'd need during the trip, and I didn't want to spend a lot of extra money doing so.I realize a trip to Walmart is fraught with ethical, political, and social justice questions for those of us privileged enough to care about such things, but that's not what this post is about.This post is about toddler meltdowns and the management thereof....more

Help! My Baby Won't Nurse in Public!

You know how I go on and on about how convenient breastfeeding is, and how you can do it anywhere, and you never have to worry about getting home to feed the baby, or running out of supplies while you're out, or needing to make a special trip to the store for formula or bottles?Well, all of that is completely true, of course.Unless you're my baby. Apparently.Because MY baby refuses - REFUSES - to nurse anywhere but in bed. He WILL NOT NURSE anywhere but lying down in bed with me.I mean this quite literally....more

Is It Ever Okay To Leave A Child Alone In A Car?

On March 20, 2014, Shanesha Taylor had a job interview, after years of scraping by (and not scraping by) on low-paying retail jobs and going from house to house with her three children because she couldn't afford her rent. But when she arrived at the baby-sitter's house to drop off her two-year-old and six-month-old babies, the baby-sitter wasn't there. Stuck in a difficult position, Ms....more

"Summer Camp" at Home

As you probably know, I'm a work-at/from-home mom (WAHM). This means my days are filled with a combination of childcare, school and activity schedules, and my own paid work (and my blogging and videos, of course!). With school out, I was worried that the kids would end up spending eight hours a day watching TV and playing with their tablets - neither healthy nor desirable....more

A Baby Humpback Washes Up Near My House

On Wednesday afternoon last week, a dead baby humpback whale washed up on a rocky part of the beach near my house. This caused quite a stir, as one can well imagine. The body of the whale drew a crowd, with people stopping by the side of the road throughout the day to view the unusual and sad spectacle.I joked with my husband that I hoped they got rid of it before it exploded. Roadkill is one thing, but whale entrails spewed across a major roadway was not something I was interested in encountering....more

When Kids are Sick at Night

The other night, my 2.5-year-old was coughing up a storm. I tried all the usual remedies - from Vicks on the feet to sitting in a steamy bathroom to giving him a dose of albuterol to a spoonful of honey (rejected) to sitting outside in the cool air to try to soothe the inflammation - but it was over two hours before the coughing fit ended. I suspect it was some combination of all of these efforts that eventually calmed the spasms. After the poor kid finally relaxed and was able to sleep, around midnight, I lay in my bed, staring up at the ceiling, listening....more