Wonder Kids

  One thing that I found especially shocking when I became a first-time mama to a boy was the assumption that boys are genetically programmed to like trucks and balls and big creatures like dinosaurs. Some boys adore all of the above. Some don’t. The fact that my hip, politically progressive friends were in agreement with gender stereotypes surprised me, to say the least and disappointed me, to say this politely. I was nothing...

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Number One Super-Awesome Brand New Advocate Blog Post

Check it out!! I’m blogging for the Advocate! I’m very happy to be here and want to send a shout-out to Mark Roessler for asking, and Tom Vannah for saying it was OK. I’m here to ruminate on parenting, child care, the crazy life of a working mother, owning a small business and trying to maintain my sanity. Oh, and raising my children with the least amount of scarring possible. I’ve been an in-home child care...

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“No” is a Complete Sentence

That’s something my dear old husband Dave said to me the other day when I got roped into something. So I have to admit I don’t say no a lot to begin with. But it also got me thinking about why we don’t like to say it to our children. There’s the conventional wisdom that if we tell them no we’ll crush their spirit. Boy, we all bought that one way too easily. We can’t decide if it’s lazy or...

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Vegans vs. Carnivores

You gotta love Facebook (or maybe not, since it’s just one more giant vampire squid sucking the face of humanity). But if you decide to be a part of it, at least it’s amusing. In my news feed the other day I had an article from my yoga instructor, all-vegan, non-GMO, juice cleansing, holistic health coach friend about eating foods that purify your life. The very next post was this picture: It takes all...

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Expert Dad Advice

A few weekends ago we were at a soccer fundraising drive at a friend’s house. There were about ten adults stuffing envelopes while the kids played outside. There were also twelve kids, ages 8-12. Lemme run that by you one more time: twelve kids, unsupervised, while the parents worked inside. The yard is perfect for them because there’s a pool (all set) and what my friend calls the North Forty. It’s another whole yard...

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You Know It's Gonna be a Good Day…

… when you’re walking back from bringing Son A to the bus stop and you see Son B waiting in the middle of your street armed with his tae kwon do belt and two Nerf swords. As you approach he tosses you one, assumes a defensive position, and you have a full-on battle before anyone shows up for day care. Ahh, Fridays.

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Getting Sappy

If you’re a sentimental old fool like me, then go on over to sittingonthebaby.com and read my latest post. It’s about how quickly our kids grow up. Jerks.

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It's Funny 'Cause It's True

OK, please just ignore the fact that this is a verizon commercial and take a look at the father and son. It’s funny because it’s true – and also sad because it’s true. After my last post about how fast our kids grow up, I had an interesting conversation with my son’s teacher. She told me she hates to think there will be a time when her kids won’t want to be with her (that’s in the post). But...

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Being the Eye of the Storm

There’s a new post over on my home blog about how the adults in charge of the children remain calm when the children are, well, being children. Here’s the teaser: A couple of weeks ago I went on my son’s elementary school field trip. They took the entire school – that’s about 200 first- thru fourth-graders – to Boston. They are a very brave group of...

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I Need to Explain the Picture

In my excitement about my fancy new Advocate blog, I of course told all my friends and family to check it out. They were kind and supportive as always, but my sister had the best comment: “Why are you yelling at little kids? That’s so not what you’re about.” It made me happy to hear that, especially since I’ve recently (well, always, but again recently) found myself in hot water over comments I’ve...

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97 degrees + 6 kids

= playing in the pool, running in the sprinkler, stomping in the mud puddle, and a lot of wet undies when we’re done.

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Melting Down on a Hot Day

Why is it that my kids’ biggest (and most gut-wrenching) emotions hit at the most unexpected times? Birthday parties, last days of school – when they should be filled with sunshine, lollipops, rainbows, lemon drops – suddenly there are tears. [read more]

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A Good Day is Any Day That You're Alive

On Saturday we went to a family reunion. The clan has lost some members since our last get-together, so we spent the usual amount of time avoiding that subject, then coming around to it when the moment seemed right. It started with the usual sentiments – how happy they would be to see everyone together, and how much they loved times like these. And how funny and kind they were, and sharing a few stories that hadn’t been...

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Attack of the Mommy Spiders

I’ve had a little bit of an entomological study going on here for the past year. Well I guess technically it’s arachnology, since I’m obsessed with spiders. But not just any spiders: Mommy spiders. And definitely not the really horrifiyingly scary spider I found on the garage last summer. I knew I was being watched…turned around slowly…and there was the ugliest looking thing I’d ever seen. I told...

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The Music of Summer…80s Style

There are songs that take you back to a certain point in time so clearly that you can practically feel the Dippity Do crunching in your hair. Some take you back in a good way: And some, not so much: Why is one so much better than the other? Well let’s see. Phil Collins winking at crazy mullets in a fake club versus….Chevy Chase. And a self-effacing genius who we’re still talking about today. That’s summer radio...

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No, You Can't Have My Fingerprint

There’s a little blinking pad on my laptop that flashes its brains out at me whenever I log in to my computer. It wants me to scan my fingerprint in for easy one-touch login! And also as a security measure so no one else can use my computer. Well for one thing, I’m a mom, which means that every other person in my family uses my – I mean this – computer. And for another, if someone did steal it and found they...

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What a Nice Day for a Bike Ride

I’ve just come home from a vacation on Cape Cod (sob) and spent a lot of time riding their super-awesome bike trails. Check out my review here. Well, it’s less a review of the trails than of the humanity upon the trails. I even did the P’town loop, it was a good length but pretty hilly and hot (through the sand dunes). So stick with the Dennis-to-Wellfleet trail if you’re just looking for a cruise. Or a run-in...

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Wow. Disney is Really Awful.

I’ve never thought that Disney movies were all that great (I resisted their brainwashing! Pat on the back please). But I’m also not going to ban watching something – if the kids are into it, go for it. We were dealing with Power Rangers from the time my oldest was five. I was broken in good and early. And this policy hasn’t really hurt us – in fact it leads to conversations where we answer a lot of...

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Keep Calm

I suddenly have this collection of cool mugs, which came about totally randomly and unplanned, and is probably the best way for a collection of this type to begin. For some reason the people in my life keep buying me really cool mugs, and I love it. I guess it’s because they know how serious I am about my coffee. My sister just added to it with this (again, randomly, unexpectedly, for no reason at all except it’s a really...

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When You're Such a Sap that Kid Movies Make You Cry

My husband loves when I do that. But this scene just gets me every time – all I have to do is hear the music and I’m done for. That’s how good it is. (And how hopeless I am.) It’s from “How to Train Your Dragon,” a movie that I thoroughly expected to hate after the way they advertised it. Does anyone remember the last winter Olympics when they had the unending barrage of commercials? And not only...

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When Your Kids Get Depressed

For the past several months I’ve spent a lot of time grappling with heavy emotions. So of course I’ve coincidentally come across a ton of articles about it, like How to Land Your Kid in Therapy by Lori Gottlieb, and Spoiled Rotten by Elizabeth Kolbert. Both of which talk about how we’re seriously messing up our kids in an effort to make them happy. It’s not just the articles though, it’s the kids...

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Book Review: Zeitoun by Dave Eggers

Yeah yeah, I know, it came out like three years ago. But having two children, running a small business, caring for eight kids every day, and keeping up a family’s busy schedule, I’m a few years behind on my reading wish list. So you may have been-there-done-that with this book, but I only just had the pleasure of reading it. The story of Kathy and Abdulrahman Zeitoun is gripping. I read the whole thing in a week...

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Waiting on a Friend

Wow. This video actually makes me miss the 80s.

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Summer Camp: Fail

Part of the reason I run a day care in my home is that I never have to find care for my kids. This means really awesome summers for them. Sure they may be bored some of the time, but mostly they get to hang out, play on the computer, get wet when they’re hot, snack all day, and have friends over whenever they want. But the past couple of years I’ve been hearing a lot of voices that tell me my kids shouldn’t just lay...

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I'm Mean on Vacation

That’s where I’ve been all week, in case you were wondering why I let the blog sit here unattended for so long. Over a week in Acadia National Park: heaven. I highly recommend it to everyone. Even if you don’t like camping or hiking there’s still plenty to see and do. But that’s what we do, camp and hike. And if I’m going to be really honest, I have to say that my behavior was a bit sub-par on both...

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Water Pollution

Wow. Erin Brockovich is no joke. I would not mess with her. Just caught her on Tavis Smiley talking about our impending water crisis and her documentary “Last Call at the Oasis.” [Sadly, I can only provide you with a link here, apparently PBS doesn’t let you embed, which is really OK because they need us to see their advertisers.] The interview is long so if you don’t have time to watch, here are the...

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Field Trips are Awesome!

I don’t get to go on them as often as I used to because I have too many kids now to fit in the van. Plus, taking six littles somewhere as opposed to four – not so fun for me. And especially not so fun for all the people who see us coming. Their eyes get as big as saucers and they run away. Literally. But the stars aligned last week: I only had three day care kids and three big boys. Plus, one of my kids was graduating...

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Crushed

Under the bus. The school bus. That’s what I feel like. What a week. Is it over yet? I’ve had the biggest turnover of my career this week. Three kids leaving, three new kids moving in. It’s been a gradual transition throughout the summer but this was the first official week of the new schedule. It feels good to finally get started. But sad to send my own kids back to school. And really, really weird to not be seeing...

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Child Care is So Expensive!

A Facebook friend of mine posted this recent parenting.com article called “Child Care: More Expensive than Rent?” What, oh what is Amy going to say in response to this article? Well my first thought, of course, was that I’m not making nearly as much as the guy claims I am – about $3500 less per child per year than the number he quoted. And that’s just my gross before expenses. Hmm, maybe I’m not...

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I Still Own Friday Nights

My Netflix movie came in the mail yesterday and I yelled to the boys, “Our Friday night movie is here!” Their friend was over and asked, “That’s cool. Is it Friday the 13th?” and they all started talking about all the horror movies they’ve never seen. [read...

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Sandwich

I’m a terrible cook. I hate cooking. Cooking and math – two things I do only under extreme duress. But now I have these kids, and as my friend Jennifer says, “You have to FEED them too?!” So when I prepare a meal it’s kind of an event. I’m a mess in the kitchen. I can’t find things, I lose my train of thought, I have to stop and clean something, I use the wrong tools for jobs (my sister knows...

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Babies and Nature

I have two babies in care now, one is nine months and the other eight. I’ve never done this to myself before. But they were both worth it. It’s not terrible, it’s just hard when they’re both crying at the same time. And they’re SO edible, it makes up for the challenges. Lots of baby snuggles. When we go outside I’ve been putting them in a double stroller because they’re both crawling off their...

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The Internet Doesn't Exist

How many people can say they started their day trying to speak clearly to an automated help desk while brushing their teeth and combing their son’s unruly hair all at the same time? I’m sorry, but anyone who can put “Mother” on their resume should be hired for any job she ever applies for. But that’s beside the point. We realized we had no internet this morning and I spent half a very precious hour on the...

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Super Mario 3 in the House

Do you ever order something on Craigslist and then worry that the person you’re buying it from might be a serial killer? But I’m getting ahead of myself. As I recently wrote about, my Older Son is obsessed with the Nintendo Entertainment System (circa 1985). He’d been saving up all his money to buy one and it was time to order it. You would be right if you guessed that this would be a hard-to-find item. You know, it...

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Overheard

Me, asking my son this question: “So has Sokka figured out that he’s a member now, since the master gave him the tile with the white lotus?” What is this foreign language I’m speaking? Why do I know so much about all things boy in the 2000s? And if you know what I’m talking about, you or your kids are way cool. It still amazes me how my life turned out to be something completely different than I ever...

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