Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Horrifying Conversations with Mini: Eggs

Last week, my Daisy girl scout troop participated in an event called “Cupcake Wars”. I should have known, given the name, that something horrifying would be said. Mini is after all (and always shall be) my precious cupcake baked by the devil. Perhaps the name was some sort of cosmic literary device - foreshadowing. A nomen omen, per se.

My older daughter’s 6th grade troop was running the event, so the young ladies in charge of coordinating and steering the little kids were all well known to Mini (as they’ve been her sister’s friends her whole life). This becomes important later.

First, let’s begin with the actual cupcake decorating portion of the evening.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Help This Woman: I Have Teens, Should I Lock Up The Liquor?

Photo credit: iStock
A couple of weeks I ago I wrote a post about trying to manage my stress, including talking to my kids about how we should and should not do that. One of the specific things I wrote about was trying not to perpetuate this idea that stressed people drink to feel better. No, we don’t. We play Trivia Crack and watch Property Brothers. LIKE CHAMPIONS. 

Anyway, the post led to some really interesting feedback including some emails from folks who were struggling with how to be honest and open with their older kids (tweens and teens) about alcohol. I GET IT. My oldest is heading into 7th grade. Middle school is a whole new ball game, you guys. So I was pretty excited to ask for your advice on a couple of questions relating to middle/high school kids and alcohol. 

Let’s start with this email:

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Washington Post's On Parenting Blog

I've had a couple of stories run on The Washington Post's website and I'm waaaayyy overdue putting looks to them on the blog.

Here's a post about the extremely serious and widespread teen sex trafficking problem in Northern Virginia and the sex ed curriculum for grade schoolers.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/parenting/wp/2015/01/29/sex-ed-sixth-grade-scary-truths/


Here's a post I wrote about talking to your kids about the Ebola epidemic. Bear in mind it was written when people were freaking the freak out that we were all going to die, I was trying to talk folks off the ledge.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/parenting/wp/2014/10/07/5-tips-for-talking-to-your-kids-about-ebola/


I'll post more as I write more stuff for them.

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Thursday, April 9, 2015

Dang it, Marvel! WHERE IS BLACK WIDOW??

I love the Disney, Marvel, the Avengers (and the whole dang franchise) so much it's not even funny. Do you know how hard it is to be mad at something that you really, really love? Of course you do, you're parents.

I just got an email from Disney (maybe you got it, too?) promoting all the new Avengers: Age of Ultron merchandise in advance of the movie's release on May1st. This is a movie my whole family is really excited to see, so I clicked through to the Disney store to see all the new stuff. I have two kids with birthdays coming up, you guys, so I was ready to drop some coin. But I was really disappointed. Because guess who is missing from almost all of the merchandise? AGAIN? Black Widow.


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

What I Learned about Stress, Mommy's "Me Time" & Talking to My Kids

Photo from iStock.com
In February, I made some major lifestyle changes. I had been feeling like garbage - eating food that was convenient and easy (instead of healthy), not getting enough sleep, snacking late at night, and of course - drinking wine more nights than not. I'd also forgotten to go to the gym for the past 11 months or so. So I did something drastic. It's called the Whole 30 - and I cut out dairy, sugar, wheat, legumes, alcohol, almost everything I enjoy putting in my mouth for 30 days. My body needed this radical change.

What it really needed, though, was for me to pay more attention to it.

Life has been stressful in my house since the holidays. We all have those stretches of time when life can get really... lifey. When it's all difficult and complicated and we have to be tougher than we want to be and deal with things. I knew we'd get through it, but I knew it would be hard. I managed by being 100% focused on being productive and calm during the day and rewarding myself with "me time" each night.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Helping Moms in Need on Mother's Day!


I had always thought Mother's Day was a tough nut to crack. It seemed to be less a day of rest or a celebration of my maternal awesomeness than a reminder that being a mom is a 24/7/365 type of gig and that our small overlords have decreed that no breaks are allowed. Mother's Day often left me feeling like a I wanted to sit in a chair and sigh, while looking sadly out the window.

Then four years ago, all that changed. A couple of readers shared with us that they were making gift bags for moms in their local Domestic Violence Shelter. We asked if we could copy their idea and they said HECK YES. So we threw a party and invited all our friends and made over 100 swag bags for women in domestic violence and homeless shelters in our community. By helping others, my perspective completed changed and Mother's Day suddenly became awesome. Here's an example:

Before: I'm not really sure why my husband and kids thought I would like lemon raison oatmeal. It actually looks and smells terrifying. 
After: It was so sweet of them to make me something for breakfast, even if it does cause vomiting. 

Before: Why do I have to unload this freaking dishwasher on Mother's Day?? ONE DAY NO DISHWASHER - That's all I ask! GAH!
After: Thank God I have a dishwasher. Dishwasher, you are a precious angel that makes my life easier and you never ask for anything in return or roll your eyes at me when I say no more Xbox.

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