Sharing and Venting

A Nightmarish Carnival of Mayhem

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I wrote this last week for the Blogher network– thought I’d share it with you.  Enjoy!

Friday the 13th Came Early at My House

I guess, being an uncool mom, I should count myself lucky that within the past 48 hours, both of my daughters have expressed their heartfelt wish that I was dead. The 10-year-old ran outside, screeching it loudly to the neighborhood.  The teenager’s words were something like, “I wish you were in a grave so I could dance on it and sing Ding Dong the Witch is Dead!” But lucky is not exactly how I’m …

Travel With Kids

Flying Chickens, Buried Cadillacs, and Martin Luther King

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Recently in my teen’s Pre-AP Language Arts class (i.e. Honors English), when the teacher was leading a discussion about the Civil Rights Movement, Martin Luther King, Jr., and John F. Kennedy, my daughter was aghast that she was the only one in class that knew that the location of Kennedy’s assassination was right here in Dallas, and one of the few who knew that Martin Luther King, Jr. was deceased. “He’s dead??!!” asked the girl considered by many to be the smartest in the class (the one who never has to study and gets all A’s).  I said she …

Kids and Money

Behavior Charts, Reward Tickets, and Cold Hard Cash

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Remember that politically correct name someone came up with for “housewife” several years ago, so a stay-at-home mom would have something sophisticated to put on a resume? “Domestic Engineer”.
Hah, hah, just like “Sanitation Engineer” for a garbage collector or “Entertainment Specialist” for a stripper.  I didn’t give the words much more thought…until recently.  As I write for this blog, I realize that I’m always looking at situations and trying to “invent” a better way to do things, especially at home. A real domestic engineer, I guess… or behavior engineer.

One of the “inventions” I’ve been working on for a long …

Random Thoughts

Uncool Hands

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I went naked over 10 years ago.  Naked hands, that is.  No more soaking in pink solution and breathing in air that comes with a warning label.  No more long, polished fingernails in colors like Chick Flick Cherry or Blushingham Palace.  Ever since, it’s just been clip, file, and (sometimes) buff.  And done by myself, I might add. …

Music lessons

To Practice or not To Practice

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Both my daughters have taken piano lessons. The older one started in late second grade, and after two and a half years, when it looked like one or both of us was going to get seriously hurt from the battles that raged over practicing, I let little sister take her place at lessons, on a gray winter day when big sister refused to go. It was a no-brainer. Little sister was dying to start– she’d been sitting at the piano and “pretend” playing for months, only her pretend sounded pretty good compared to the cantankerous banging made by most 7-year-olds– so it wasn’t too tough of a decision to let her start a year earlier than I’d planned. She walked proudly down the street with me to the piano teacher’s house and was so excited to get her own music.

My Published Articles, Travel With Kids

Musings on DVD Players in Cars

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Following is a column of mine that
was published in the Dallas Morning News on July 11, 2001. Replace the
word “VCR” with “DVD Player” and it’s still relevant.  Only now, things
have gotten worse.  People are popping in DVDs just to drive their kid
to the grocery store. Completely limits any family conversation that
could take place during that journey. And once your kids turn age 5,
the percentage of time they spend away from you (in school and other
activities ) is forever greater than the time they spend with you–
and, concurrently, a lot of the time you manage to have with them …

Dealing With Back Talk

What to Expect the Sassy Years: Dealing With Back Talk

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There are so many books, websites and blogs devoted to
chatting about the sweet early years of childhood but not nearly as many for
after age 7-8 and even fewer once they hit 10. 
I remember how lost I felt when the “What to Expect” books abruptly
ended. What do I do now? I thought.  Yet
parenting gets much tougher at this point, and the Sassy Years last many more
years than the Sweet Years (in my case, considering my oldest child argued
about what clothes she’d wear to school when she was in kindergarten, the Sassy
Years were in full swing at age 5 1/2).