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?
Want to decorate your home for a party? You could buy a bunch of bright-colored paper streamers or rubber balloons that you inflate with air. These things are inexpensive, but they're typically made in China by exploited workers in polluting factories and then shipped halfway around the world to you, wasting a bunch of fossil … Continue reading FREE Earth-friendly Party Decorations!
If you have any opinions at all about the appropriate methods of disciplining children, and if you are ever anywhere near any families with different opinions, someday you will find yourself in this situation: Your child sees another parent respond to a child's behavior in a way that your child recognizes as different, which may … Continue reading What to Do When Your Child Witnesses Bad Discipline
I am an Episcopalian, raising my son Nicholas (now eight years old) as an Episcopalian, but I was raised Unitarian myself, so I've had to figure out a lot of this Christian parenting stuff as we go along. I've talked with some other parents in the same boat, as well as some who don't belong … Continue reading How I told my child the Easter story
This is a simple tip that I can see is familiar to a lot of the natives here in Pittsburgh, but it took me many years to catch on. I grew up in Oklahoma, where winter precipitation tends to involve freezing rain, so a lot of what you have to clear from your sidewalk is … Continue reading Shovel snow with a broom!
Martin Luther King, Jr., has been one of my heroes as long as I can remember. Since my son Nicholas was 3 years old, I've made a point of doing something on Martin Luther King Day each year to remember Dr. King and his principles. That first year, we discussed the basics of the civil … Continue reading Martinopoly: What My Kid Did for Martin Luther King Day
We strive to be the kind of family that shares meals--not the kind that "has to" fix nuggets and fries for the kid every night! The reality is somewhere in between. Many of my multi-week menus indicate adaptations for Nicholas: We prepared meal components separately and served his in separate dishes not touching, while we … Continue reading How to Get a Kid to Like Mushrooms
Our son Nicholas is in second grade at a great public school! Each month, he has to do two science projects at home. I really like the way these projects are organized, and although each student is given a paper copy to bring home, I think it's wonderful that the lists of projects are available … Continue reading Lots of Science Projects for Kids!
If you've never played Fluxx, this holiday season is the time to start! It's now easier to buy and less expensive than ever before. A new edition of Fluxx has just been released in Target stores, and until December 8, 2012, it is on sale for only $4! After that, it will be $10, still … Continue reading Fluxx: A Fun Card Game for Everyone!
This fall, our church has launched a new Bible study session, on Sundays between the two church services, to discuss the portion of the Gospel that will be read in church that day. As Episcopalians, we follow a lectionary that tells us which scriptures to read each day, and this fall the Gospel readings for … Continue reading You do not know what you are asking.
THE SCENE: Our dining room, last night. We are finishing up a dinner of Honey Baked Lentils and baked butternut squash. Nicholas, age 7, has gobbled two chunks of squash but only a few bites of lentils. NICK: Okay, I'm done. Can I have dessert? MAMA: (noting lentil level) Hmmm. You could have Bean Fudge. … Continue reading Dessert: A Matter of Emphasis
Many places of worship, and a lot of non-religious organizations, have a "coffee hour" or "fellowship time" or some other name for "when we all mill around and have a little something to eat and drink." At our church, this is a particularly vital time. Many interesting conversations happen, friendships are formed, and plans for … Continue reading What to Serve for Coffee Hour
Nicholas, age seven, recently remarked--seemingly out of nowhere, but I'm sure there was plenty of context in his mind-- "I wish I was a crayon. Except that people would be scraping my head off all the time."
We've been having two main problems with our seven-year-old Nicholas since he was about three. Recently, I thought of a new strategy that just may be working to solve both problems! One problem is that Nicholas is sometimes rude, bossy, and defiant. Not all the time. Sometimes he's quite a delightful companion for hours at … Continue reading Treasure Chest
Our seven-year-old Nicholas recently had a party. He also has attended several kids' parties this year and has come home from every one of them with a bag or bucket of items that he considers treasures and his parents consider crap--you know, cheap plastic toys made in China and low-quality, over-packaged candy and gum. We … Continue reading A Different Party Favor–thrifty and earth-friendly!
Warm weather is here, and I'm looking forward to summer! We won't be taking any big vacations; most weekdays, I'll be going to work in my office as usual, and our seven-year-old Nicholas will be attending art and natural history day camps at the Carnegie Museum while his dad works from home. I take a … Continue reading Public Transit and Summer Fun (Plus tips on vacationing in Pittsburgh!)
The scene: Our dining room, 7:00 a.m. Nicholas is eating a Grape-nuts Smile. Mama is eating Tomato Toast and reading the newspaper, wherein she discovers some facts that might interest a 7-year-old. MAMA: Did you know? The starfish is not really a fish. Also, it has no brain and no blood. NICK: Did you know? … Continue reading Morning Conversation (starfish and princesses)
I have a very good memory for details. The best I can explain it is that I retain a lot of details from my experiences and reading, and they are connected to one another in a massive and complex web that I nonetheless find very easy to follow, moving along from one irrelevant-sounding detail to … Continue reading It’s like we’re related or something.
A couple of Saturdays ago, I was all set for a big cooking binge, making a batch of Tart & Tangy Baked Beans from The Moosewood Cookbook plus four loaves of Raisin Bran Bread, then freezing some vegetables and washing dishes while the food was in the oven. I thought my seven-year-old son would help … Continue reading Mama’s Personal DJ