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A 12-Step Insanity Prevention Plan for Summer

When you’re a kid, summer means freedom. No alarm clock. No bedtime. No cafeteria lunches. No homework. No rules. No one telling you what to do all the time. Read that list again as the parent and try not to hyperventilate. You want to make the most out of summer and the quality time with your kids, but you also want to survive. You want all those memories of afternoons at the pool, and chasing

Yeah, We Eat at McDonald’s

In honor of the post-4th of July cookouts and summer fruits and fresh-squeezed lemonades, I’m bringing you a love-note to fast food. Because it has it’s good points too and Scary Mommy agrees. Click on the picture to read all my feels about the drive-thru kingdom.   Do you eat fast food? Any good fast food memories?

Kiddie Pool Digest #5: Kids in the Kitchen

“Happy birthday to us. Happy birthday to us. Happy birthday, America. Happy birthday to us.” This is the holiday that gave us the freedom of speech and a good fighting spirit. Any kid in the world can appreciate the desire to reign sovereign over themselves. So, let freedom ring a little louder for them on this Fourth of July with some hands-on time in the kitchen. You should probably still man the grill, but we’ll

Protect Your Own, and Eat Your Heart Out, My Girl

The farmer’s market is a magical place, full of flowers and beef and freshly snapped green beans. Vendors really want you to eat from the mountain of blueberries and try a sample of that gluten free sourdough and meet the goat that made the cheese. The Saturday morning market will always be sacred because it was the first place we took all our kids as a freshly hatched family of five once our twins finally

How Not to Catastrophize Faith (Sunday Thoughts Link Up #29)

ECCLESIASTES 2:17 & 23 17 So I hated life, because the work that is done under the sun was grievous to me. All of it is meaningless, a chasing after the wind…23 All their days their work is grief and pain; even at night their minds do not rest. This too is meaningless. ECCLESIASTES 3:22 22 So I saw that there is nothing better for a person than to enjoy their work, because that is their lot. For

Chasing Our Own Kind of Independence on the 4th of July

For me, the Fourth of July requires a series of pep talks, deep breathing exercises, and yoga poses that are supposed to open your chi or balance the yin and the yang or whatever. I’d feng shui the house if I thought it’d make a difference. From an outsider’s perspective, this holiday speaks all my love languages: grilling, swimming, setting things on fire. But because I’m not living in a Coca Cola ad, it’s what’s

How the Breezy Days of Summer Have Changed

Summer in the 80s. If I close my eyes I can smell the Hawaiian Tropic tanning oil and hear Henley’s “Boys of Summer” playing on a mixed tape by the pool. If I don’t look too closely at my thighs in my swimsuit, I can still picture the boy’s initials painted in neon zinc oxide to be washed away later, a tattoo in reverse. I still have my sunglasses with the plastic frames that changed

The Truly Accommodating Splash Park Every Special Needs Parent Should Know About

If Disney is the Magic Kingdom, this is the Magic Kingdom’s cooler sister. Morgan’s Island Water Park is the place where kids with special needs aren’t just included; they are ushered in with open arms and free admission. Yes, you read that right. All kids with disabilities get into this water-themed park for free, and that’s just the beginning of its charm. As the mom of a son with cerebral palsy, we know what “handicap

Kiddie Pool Digest #4: Camping for Geeks

When in comes to the great outdoors there are two types of people: those who rough it and those who glamp it. But what is summer without a good campout? Nature resets something in all of us that needs slowing. It’s a handy serving size of meditative contemplation and it reminds us what the world looks like on the other side of the window. Every kid needs to sleep in a tent, count the stars,

Thoughts on Hockey and Parenting: A Literary Review of Beartown by Fredrik Backman

Here’s a teaser from my latest book review on Literary Mama… “Fredrik Backman likes to make people cry. His writing does not punch the reader in the arm and run away, but instead pulls at the most delicate sensibilities, the ones that stay tender from childhood through old age. He covers the loss of a spouse in A Man Called Ove, the loss of a grandparent in My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s

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