Welcome to the March 2015 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Day in the Life This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have given us a special glimpse into their everyday. *** There are three main things I do … Continue reading A Day as Mama and Data Manager
I've only read two books to myself in the past month, but I've been reading to both of my kids, too, and looking at some floor-plan books, so here are two book reviews in each category. Books I read to myself: The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards begins during a snowstorm in 1964, when … Continue reading What I Read Recently: Adult, Tween, Baby, and Architecture Books
Welcome to the February 2015 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Do It Yourself This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants are teaching us how to make something useful or try something new. *** By the time my first … Continue reading How to Get Kids to Behave in Church
I wrote Great Chapter Books for Kids when Nicholas was four years old, thinking I'd add to it later or make it the first post in a series...and I keep meaning to get around to it...but meanwhile, I'm going to use the Quick Lit Linkup as motivation to write about what I've read to Nicholas, … Continue reading Books I’ve Been Sharing with My 10-Year-Old
Ah, December, the month when the days are getting shorter and shortest as we try to pack in shopping, parties, preparations for hospitality or travel, and tranquil spiritual contemplation along with all our usual activities! It makes a kid who persistently wants attention all the more annoying. The December my son Nicholas turned two, I … Continue reading The Nutcracker: music for the imagination
I love drawing floor plans--even though I failed to become an architect--so I looked forward to illustrating my article about how we rearranged our home to make space for our new baby Lydia. I thought this also would be a great opportunity to learn to use TouchDraw, a drafting app I'd bought for my iPad … Continue reading My 9-Year-Old Architect
It's back-to-school season! If your child brings a lunch to school, now is the time to think about how to pack that lunch. If you bring your lunch to work, this is a great time of year to rethink what you're packing, too. Choosing the right lunch-packing habits can make a big difference in how … Continue reading 5 Tips for Green Lunch Packing
Our nine-year-old Nicholas has been interested in home decorating since he was about four years old. I often get frustrated with his desire to set up things that are merely decorative, have no useful purpose, and just get in my way! I am even more irritated when he wants to buy things just for decorating. … Continue reading Centerpiece
This is a guest post by Nicholas Efran, nine-year-old son of 'Becca and Daniel. He wrote this article for the June 2014 issue of the Colfax Communicator, his school's newsletter. (Mr. Sikorski is the principal.) We hope it inspires other kids to start recycling things that are getting thrown away in their schools! Three third-graders … Continue reading Recycling Used-Up Pens and Markers
Welcome to the June 2014 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Kids and Animals This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have shared stories and wisdom about kids and animals. *** When my cousin Samantha was three years old … Continue reading Vegetarianism and Animal Rights: Explaining to Children
We aren't sports fans in our family. Exercise is good, but we're not much interested in playing sports and even less interested in watching sports. But we live in Pittsburgh, a city with three professional sports teams that are a major focus of the local culture. We can't help noticing when one of the teams … Continue reading Saving Money on Sports Fan Gear
When my parents visited us the Christmas before last, my mother made her grandmother's traditional animal cookies: a buttery dough that you roll out and cut with cookie cutters (they don't have to be animal shapes, of course) and bake and frost. The recipe makes a huge batch, so she divided it and froze two … Continue reading How to use long-frozen cookie dough
I'm not using the term "pesco-vegetarian" in the title like I have for many of my other multi-week meal plans because I think "meatless" is the more common word people are searching for in Lent. My family eats no meat at home except occasional fish--which does not count as "meat" in many fasting plans, for … Continue reading Four Weeks of Mostly Meatless Dinners (February)
I'm an easily chilled sort of person. I like to feel warm and cozy, and being cold upsets me. In any given weather conditions, I'm usually wearing at least as many garments as the average person, often more. My son Nicholas seems to feel warm most of the time. He's often quite calm and comfortable … Continue reading My kid doesn’t have to wear a coat.
My third-grade son and I came up with a game that was a lot of fun and valuable math practice and physical exercise for him, while being very easy for me and using only a few basic supplies that were easy to set up and clean up. This is a perfect activity for families in … Continue reading GAME SHOW!! with math practice
My eight-year-old Nicholas created this picture that he wants you to share everywhere and put in a place where you will see it often. He wants you to think, every time you see it, about what you can do to help animals of all kinds to be safe in this world we share. How can … Continue reading Help Save the Animals!
He never believed in the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy, either. There are three important reasons why Daniel and I decided, before Nicholas was born, that we were not going to pretend that any of these characters were real. The first is that we didn't like the idea of lying to our child. We … Continue reading Why my kid never believed in Santa Claus
Welcome to the September 2013 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Staying Safe This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared stories and tips about protecting our families. Please read to the end to find a list of … Continue reading Gradually Expanding Range for a Child Walking Alone
Daniel is the lunchbox-packing parent in our family. He was in charge of grinding up leftovers for baby Nicholas to eat at childcare, and he has packed a lunch for Nicholas to take to school every day for the past three grades and to day camp every day for the past two summers. We love … Continue reading A Week of Vegetarian Lunchbox Lunches
This is a controversial and confusing question. Some people go on and on about how parenthood melted their selfish hearts and made them realize the importance of devoting themselves fully to making their children's lives perfectly wonderful and completely safe. Other people go on and on about how children are hedonistic little leeches whose spirits … Continue reading Should Your Family Be Child-centered?