I've been rereading books lately (including The Geography of Nowhere, reviewed here) and reading magazines, but here are two books I read with my kids in the past month. The Giver by Lois Lowry My seventh-grade son Nicholas read this book in school and then, coincidentally, was given a copy by his sixth-grade cousin who'd … Continue reading The Giver and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz [book reviews]
We’ve raised our kids to be mostly vegetarian. We have fish once every week or two, but we never cook any other meat at home. We sometimes eat meat in restaurants or in other people’s homes. So it’s really more accurate to say we eat a low-meat diet than to say we’re vegetarian. It’s more … Continue reading I let my vegetarian kid cook a steak.
A few years ago, some people from Alumni Relations invited me out to lunch so they could ask for my perspective (about 20 years after graduation) on what my Carnegie Mellon education has meant to me. I was flattered, and it was such an interesting question to consider that I've thought about it many times … Continue reading What I Really Learned in College
Are you the parent struggling to leave your child's school each day as he clings to your legs, screaming and crying? Is every morning a struggle to get yourself ready for work and your kid ready for childcare, while she delays in every way imaginable until you're shrieking in frustration, and then she looks at … Continue reading Coping with a Clingy Child
My three-year-old Lydia and I recently enjoyed a picture book from our local library, Jacob's New Dress by Sarah & Ian Hoffman, illustrated by Chris Case. Jacob is a preschool boy who enjoys wearing dresses from the costume box but is criticized by his classmate Christopher. His mom is kind about his hurt feelings, but when … Continue reading Every school needs a Jacob!
I'm nervous posting this because of the freakout when Lenore Skenazy let her 9-year-old ride public transit alone. I don't want to be the next "America's Worst Mom"! But I think it's important to talk about how to approach children's independence safely and gradually so that they learn the skills they'll need as adults. Nicholas is … Continue reading Why My 12-year-old Is Riding Public Transit Alone
Lydia, three years old, informed me that this is NOT called a soap dish. It is a soap bench. You can see her point. Immediately after this pronouncement, she stood up and started dancing. MAMA: Don't dance in the bathtub. It's slippery. LYDIA: I am just showing you how horses dance. (slips a little; casually … Continue reading Horses don’t dance in the bathtub.
I received a free sample of Seventh Generation Coconut Care Baby Lotion to review. This is an honest review of my family's experience with this product, which we probably wouldn't have tried if we hadn't been offered a free sample. Seventh Generation Coconut Care Baby Lotion is a gentle moisturizing lotion made without mineral oil, … Continue reading Seventh Generation Coconut Care Baby Lotion review
My daughter Lydia, who is two and a half years old, noticed this picture in the newspaper I was reading. This is a photograph by Prakash Singh/AFP/Getty Images, as it appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Sunday, February 12, 2017. LYDIA: Who are they? MAMA: They are standing in line to vote in India. LYDIA: … Continue reading Muslim women in India: Are they like us?
This is a guest post by Michelle Peng, who collected these resources on realistic ways to go green in everyday life. Save About $600 per Year by Switching to Solar Energy Financial Incentives for Green Home Improvements 18 Green Business Ideas for Eco-Minded Entrepreneurs Home Energy Conservation for Kids 5 Unique Ways to Go Green … Continue reading 10 Links for Greening Your Lifestyle
This is a guest post by Jackie Waters. Ms. Waters believes balance and diligence can help you achieve a beautiful, clean home. She runs hyper-tidy.com, providing advice on being...Hyper Tidy! If you’re not an attorney, accountant, or financial planner, you may have anxiety about life planning and making the right decisions to secure your children’s … Continue reading How to Approach Life Planning to Secure Your Children’s Futures
Our two-year-old Lydia has always been the type who takes a while to wind down, but in the late spring after she stopped nursing, she went pretty easily into a relatively smooth routine of listening to several stories and then saying good night and lying alone in her bed in the dark listening to a … Continue reading Bedtime List: How to organize a child’s routine
I've been catching up on my magazines this month, but I've also read three books... The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky Charlie is a friendless teenager beginning his freshman year at a high school in the affluent southern suburbs of Pittsburgh. The book is a series of "Dear friend," letters he's writing … Continue reading Wallflowers and Oranges Unbound! (book reviews)
Last October, my daughter Lydia was 17 months old and learning new words rapidly. One day, we were out for a stroll and saw a large, inflatable Halloween decoration in the form of several grinning jack-o'-lanterns stacked up like a totem pole. Lydia was very excited and shouted, "Balls!" I said, "They are pumpkins. Happy … Continue reading The Evolution of Happy
There are some things here on Earth that just defy rational explanation. Here, for example, is a toy that we received as a gift when our first child was born in 2004. His little sister played with it, too, but lost interest after infancy. I recently found it at the bottom of a toy basket … Continue reading The Silliest Baby Toy
Our two-year-old Lydia loves poetry! Most young children enjoy hearing rhyming, rhythmic words, but Lydia is particularly fascinated. We have many picture books with rhyming text--like the wonderful works of Dr. Seuss--but we've also found several longer poetry books that she enjoys and so do we. Poetry is very helpful in getting children interested in … Continue reading 4 Great Poetry Books for Young Children
When our son Nicholas was 2 years old, we drove from Pennsylvania to Oklahoma, stayed a while, and drove back. In each direction, we spent 3 days in a row on the road for about 8 hours a day of actual driving time, plus rest stops. My cousin who has older children gave me two … Continue reading Secrets to a Happy Road Trip with a Two-year-old
One of the hardest, most humbling things about being a parent is those moments when your child communicates with you using strategies that you've used with him or that he's seen you use with someone else--and you shouldn't have. We all have times when we do something to try to get another person to do … Continue reading Cooperation, Communication, and Consequences
In addition to finishing the books I got for Christmas in time for my birthday, I've read a few other new-to-me books recently, including one that actually has the alternate title What I've Learned By Reading Too Much! I learned something from each of these books. The Dance of Anger by Harriet G. Lerner This … Continue reading What I’ve Learned By Reading Too Much (and 4 other books!)
Happy Earth Day! Before I get to my main topic, I've got some special offers to tell you about... First, instead of buying anything, check out the beautiful photographs in the Capture Conservation photo contest sponsored by the Student Conservation Association! UPDATE: The sale on PlanetBox stainless steel lunchboxes has ended, but check out our … Continue reading Some Plants Are For Eating