Saturday, April 13, 2019


I chose this photo because 90% of what I now consume now
are Annie's frozen organic burritos and microwaved coffee.
(meaning yesterday, but posting late as have lost all sense of time):
Well, it happened on day 3. I started to miss them and found myself checking the locations of their iphones. They were taking a college tour at Baylor (teenage daughter loved it) and I was getting v. emotional about all of it. Was reaching for kleenex when I received 16 texts in a row from Mini telling me that her brother had LITERALLY SPRAYED HER WITH A HOSE and WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT, MOMMY?
Nothing, sweet girl. Nothing at all. 
I'm in Virginia and you're in Texas and your dad is *right there* and I'm 1,100 miles away drinking iced coffee, eating a frozen burrito in my stretchy pants at 2pm, suddenly feeling really good about my alone time again. Thank you for that refreshing dose of perspective, my angel.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Quoted in the Sunday NYT

I'm really, really excited about being quoted twice in an article about sharing things on Facebook that will be in this Sunday's print edition of The New York Times. The piece was written by KJ Dell'Antonia whose podcast #AmWriting I am a huge fan of. 

“I have definitely seen an evolution toward sharing less,” said Julianna Miner, an adjunct professor of global and community health at George Mason University and the author of the forthcoming “Raising a Screen-Smart Kid: Embrace the Good and Avoid the Bad in the Digital Age.” She added, “It’s hard to tell if the changes are a response to the security breaches, or a result of people just getting tired of it.”


“There’s plenty of evidence that interpersonal, face-to-face interactions yield a stronger neural response than anything you can do online,” said Ms. Miner. “Online empathy is worth something to us, but not as much. It takes something like six virtual hugs to equal one real hug.”

The article is here!

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Thursday, April 11, 2019

Review of the After Movie - Which everyone should go see right now. Thank you.

I just saw the #Aftermovie and I have a lot of feelings and emotions right now. They are very real and you need to respect them even though I am an adult woman and perhaps this is not the best use of my time. 
For those of you who don't know, this movie is based on a series of YA books by Anna Todd that were originally on a story-sharing app called Watpad, where they got over a BILLION reads and were eventually snatched up by Simon & Schuster and published to enormous sales over the past five years.
Let's start with the positives: There's great casting! And gender-swapping of characters! There's more diversity! Landon, for example, is now black and is a precious, handsome, nerdy angel and Tristan is a v. hot gay girl. All good things.
Hardin and Tessa are great - thank you, baby lemur, because that could have gone either way. Tessa is exactly as I imagined her, down to the JC Penney wardrobe and pouty lips. Hardin* is perfect but for the lack of correct tattoos and piercings, which did not bother me but was EXTREMELY UPSETTING to the young super fans who were debriefing after the movie. 
He is also far too nice, which was very disappointing. He is supposed to be a cruel and heartless dickhead and instead, he's like a young, black t-shirt wearing Mr. Darcy, unpleasant and rude, but too hot for those things to matter very much.

Home Alone Status Update Day 2

Me today: hair jacked up, still in PJ's, no shower
Day 2 of being home alone status report: 
Yesterday I ate sushi for dinner on my couch while re-watching season 3 of Game of Thrones in stretchy pants, ponytail & no bra, as I received this advice in the comments of my FB status ("If you're wearing a bra, you're doing it wrong." --> YOU ARE ALL VERY WISE AND HAVE SO MUCH TO TEACH ME, THIS WAS 100% RIGHT). 
I also read two books by Harper Kincaid (who I know in real life and is delightful and really knows how to take flattering selfies), made many to do lists, sent emails, did research, and drank electrolyte water - all on the couch while watching GoT. 
Then I slept for 12 hours, only waking up because the dogs were like "WHAT THE ACTUAL F**K IS HAPPENING HOOMAN ARE YOU DEADS?"

I am Kevin McAllister. Day One.

My husband took our children to the great state of Texas for five days for Spring Break. I must stay here, at home, because I have to teach and work. This happens every year, the university where I teach usually has their spring break a month before my kids' rolls around. This means I'm not really able to travel and my kids sullenly accept that we are stuck at home for a week, slowly growing more and more irritated with each other because there is nothing to do. 
But this year, I am at home alone in the manner of Kavin McAllister for almost five whole days. I have lots of deadlines and work to do BUT OMG THIS HAS NEVER HAPPENED TO ME BEFORE I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH MYSELF.
I have a list of non-work related things I want to do:
*Read many, many trashy books and a couple of good ones
*Not cook or clean any of the things
*So many naps
*Go see the new After movie if I can find any other adults who will go with me, even if they haven't read the books
*Go to yoga
*Order take-out, repeat daily
*Watch what I want on the big TV

Friday, March 15, 2019

Three Ways to Help Kids Say No to Underage Drinking

This post is sponsored by as part of their Ask.Listen.Learn. campaign, encouraging families to talk early, talk often, and be healthy. All the opinions are my own because no one is the boss of me. I'm very proud to be part of their team again his year. 

My three kids tend to roll their eyes at me and my desire to talk about everything from too much screen time, the value of a good night’s sleep, managing stress, to saying no to drugs and alcohol. But I do it anyway because that’s what moms must do. 

When it comes to talking about underage drinking, there are three things I try to keep in mind:

1. Establish Expectations
We have lots of little talks about stuff, rather than long sit-downs, which my kids find annoying and don’t really want to engage in. Little talks do something meaningful, though. They establish with total clarity my expectations around their behavior. Kids who clearly understand parental expectations about drug and alcohol use are less likely to engage in underage drinking.

2. Talk About the Why Behind the Rule
When I talk about my expectations, I’m careful to explain the reasoning behind how I got there. They know that my husband and I drink and they very reasonably want to know why its safe and acceptable for us, but not for them. The primary factors that drive my expectations around underage drinking are brain development (alcohol effects kids differently than adults), the law (it is illegal for kids to drink), and the negative consequences correlated with underage drinking (injuries, assaults, problems in school, increased mental health risks, etc.). When they understand why I don’t want them to drink and that my opinions are based on evidence, they’re more likely to understand and respect those expectations.

3. Work on Refusal Skills

Ask. Listen. Learn. has some great resources for talking to your kids about underage drinking, including an infographic below that provides ten ways for kids to say no. It’s beneficial to teach and practice refusal skills. In a moment when kids may feel pressured, it can be a game changer for them to be able to draw from past conversations to find the right way to say no. 

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Thursday, March 14, 2019

Texting fun with Teenagers

This morning in the group chat I have with my three kids:
Me: Kids, I'm in meetings all morning so unless its life or death, I can't respond to your texts. 
Kid: Ok
Other kids: (since does not have to do with food, money or rides, ignores message)
Kid: (during meetings) Mom mom MOM MOM MOMMMMM MOM MOM.
Mom: (thinking surely I can ignore message, as said earlier would be in meetings)
Kid: MOOOMM mom mom MOM
Mom: (growing concern and unease) What?! In a meeting!
Kid: Oh right. Nevermind.

This afternoon:
Kid: Pick me up by the smoothie place?
Mom: When?
Mom: (30 mins later) When?
Mom: (60 mins later) CHILD WHEN DO YOU NEED A RIDE?
Kid: (23 minutes later) Right now. 
Kid: (3 seconds later) How much longer?
Kid: (4 seconds later) When are you coming?


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Friday, February 15, 2019

Weight is not simple.

I was compensated by Med-IQ through an educational grant from Novo Nordisk to write about the realities of obesity as a chronic disease. All opinions are my own.

I’ve partnered with Med-IQ several times; they’re an accredited medical education company that works with physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals. As I am a professor of public health, this partnership is a great fit. The topic this time is about obesity. Specifically, that a positive and supportive healthcare provider and broader community are important to successful weight management.

Here’s what I mean by that; there are physicians who, when treating patients who are overweight or have obesity, see the weight more than they see the patient. Example:

Me: All my kids have strep and my throat is on fire and I have a fever. 
Doctor: Let’s talk about your weight.


Me: I’d like a PAP smear, please.
Doctor: Your weight is going to cause future health problems.

[end scene]

Friday, January 18, 2019

Most recent article for Washington Post

Every time I have a piece accepted by the Washington Post's OnParenting section, it's a thrill. I was especially happy about this one because I've spent the past two years researching the digital lives of our kids. This article gave me the opportunity to integrate that research with some important parenting conversations we should all be having with our tweens and teens.

I also love this piece because it's a great peek into what my upcoming book is going to be like. Have I mentioned that book?

It's called "Raising a Screen Smart Kid: Embrace the Good and Avoid the Bad in the Digital Age" and it will be published by Tarcher Perigee/Penguin Random House in late summer 2019.

Here's a link to the article!

(c) Mommyland Blogs 2013-2019

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