Bieber Fever Has Hit My House– Should We Be Quarantined?

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Not too long ago, as some of you will recall, I wrote about the phenomenon of teen idols, and how my older daughter,
like me, snubbed teen idols in the preteen and junior high years. I wrote that if she was truly like me, she was due to fall for one “at any minute”, since I had my first teen idol crush in high
school. But I really wasn’t taking my prediction too seriously. If I were a betting mom, I would have bet that Allison would never crush on any of the
faces gracing the current or future covers of “Bop” magazine. I would have bet that this strong-willed child would want to be different, and purposely hold her ground so as not
be a rabid fan of anyone that she’s told by the media that she needs to like. And I would have already lost that bet. Because, …

Giving Kids Some Freedoms

A Good Alternative to Preteen Cell Phones

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Just wanted to put in a plug for something we’ve used when our kids get to that age when you really don’t want them to have a cell phone, yet
they need to be in communication with you: good ‘ol walkie talkies.   Not the nerdy, bulky walkie talkies of yesterday– today’s two-way radio can fit in the palm of your
hand, and your child’s (and some can clip on bike handlebars, belt loops, etc.).

For as little as $20 a pair, you can give your child some of the freedom that comes with a cell phone, but you don’t have all the “baggage” that comes
with one (the cost of the phone, “the plan”, possible higher phone bills, texting, games, etc.)  It’s a great after-school communications tool–  when we plan
ahead, my 12-year-old and I both turn on our …

Being a Better Parent

10 Ways for Overcommitted Parents to Say No

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Lately, I’m often reminded of something a friend of mine once said in a Christmas card note, just after she’d listed all
the volunteer activities in which she was involved, like PTA and Girl Scouts: “It’s ironic that the things we do to benefit our children keep us from spending quality time with them.”  At the
time, I’d barely started a family and couldn’t relate. 16 years later, with at least 13 of those years spent on various volunteer boards, I can. And now that my husband has gotten involved as an
office-holder in “stuff” like PTA as well, we’re doubly aware. This year, we’re officers or committee chairs in 10 organizations combined, and in one, we each hold both a board position and

Luke the Dog

Two Dog Nights, Three Kid Days

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Emmie with Ben Arffleck and Luke

The kids are out of school again today, for an unprecedented five days in a little over a week. This snow and ice mix is definitely giving North Texas some Three Dog Nights (for those of you that
don’t know, that’s Australian slang meaning, it’s so cold you’ll need three dogs to keep you warm—and yes, the 70’s pop band took their name from that as well). But in our house, we’re actually
having Two Dog Nights. A few days ago, our adoption was completed for a shelter …