Being a Better Parent

Time to Clock Out and Chill Out

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Yesterday when she got home from school, Allison said she needed either Andy or I to help her memorize a duet
scene she was scheduled to perform in theatre class today. She needed one of us to act out one part while she acted out her part. I was happy she would even consider me to do this since Andy
usually helps out with “homework” after dinner while I work on miscellaneous chores, like going through mail or putting sheets in the dryer– …

Domestic Engineering, Kids and Religion

Building a Better Easter

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In true Uncool Mom fashion, of me always trying to re-engineer things and make them better, this year I once
again set my sights on Easter. I’ve always thought that Easter, the foundational holiday of Christianity, should be a much bigger deal than it is, and have always wondered why Christians don’t
make as much fuss over it as Christmas. I mean, at least in my family, people don’t bend over backwards at Easter to try to be together by plane, …

Random Thoughts

The Quiet Milestones

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Parents like to celebrate a lot of “firsts”, don’t we?  Some are commemorated in a big way, with photographs, words in a baby book or scrapbook, video… like first smile, first solid food, first steps, first tooth,
first word, first birthday, first haircut.   As kids get older, firsts occur less frequently, but we still try to look for them and celebrate
them—first lost tooth, first day of school, first time …

Travel With Kids

Road ILL

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We are a family that loves to travel, yet…seems like it never fails, one of us is always battling something health-related when
we hit the road or once we’ve reached our destination…whether it’s sunburn or allergies or a full blown cold, there’s always something to deal with…I don’t know why I don’t just
pack an entire suitcase as a mobile medicine cabinet. I mean, our track record is not great…Andy came down with the flu on our honeymoon in Colorado…Allison …

My Published Articles, Travel With Kids

Remembering “Slug Bug”

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In honor of Spring Break this week, and the many families that are “hitting the road” for a family trip by car (including us), I
thought I’d “re-release” a column/essay of mine that ran in The Dallas Morning News on June 29, 2001 under the heading, “Slug Bugs Are A Hit With Kids”.
Update 4/2/10: I think it’s a hoot that VW is now using this game to promote its cars. Have you seen
the ads …

Punch-drunk on Punch Cards

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The main zipper on my favorite (and only) wallet jumped the tracks the other day, and I think
I know why:  too many punch cards.   Nope, it’s not too many credit cards (and certainly not cash) that
have caused my favorite brown leather four-compartment wallet to bulge at the seams—it’s those darn punch cards and reward cards that every place of business seems to be giving me these days.

Humor, Kids and school

Scenes From A School Talent Show

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Just like a 4th of July Parade or apple pie, nothing is more “slice of Americana” than
an elementary school talent show, eh? Kids in egg costumes singing a hard rock/rap version of Humpty Dumpty; a boy on piano plinking out “Axel F”; teachers tap dancing; three sisters in red
lipstick singing The Star Spangled Banner…Last weekend, Andy and I coordinated the mechanics of our elementary school’s talent show for the first time.  

Great Parenting Tools, Humor

The Parental Power in Being a Bookworm

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You’ve heard that some people become a better parent by reading parenting books, but here’s another
thought—have you ever considered that reading any book (or magazine or newspaper) helps with parenting? No, I’m not talking about the old adage, “Be a reader and your kids will be one, too”
although I think that’s true.   I’m talking about the fact that being “into” reading can help you calmly get through some “trying” times that would make
some Moms …

Humor, Raising Teenagers


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I think a historian or sociologist of the future will be able to tell a lot about the teens in our current society simply by reading their T-shirts. Oh, I
don’t mean the ones with Will Ferrell’s picture that say “More Cowbell” or Jonas Brothers shirts or even the revamped “Have A Nice Day” tie-dyed ones, although those would definitely
add to the picture– I mean the ones that tell what the kids are doing all the time, at any minute. Seriously, …