Friday, December 27, 2013

‘Twas the Day After Christmas



‘Twas the day after Christmas, when all through the house
Paper, toys and boxes were strewn all about;
The stockings, once hung, lay in a pile on the floor,
Remnants of Saint Nicholas and gift-giving galore;
The children bounced ‘round, and launched cars to and fro;
While they dreamed of chocolate cake and sledding in snow;
And mamma in her slippers, and I with my energy zapped;
Just wish we could settle down for a long winter’s nap,
When out in the family room there arose such a clatter,
We grumbled up from our chairs to see what was the matter,
Away to the ruckus we struggled to go,
Walked through the hallway, and the mess down below,
When what to our tired old eyes did appear,
But a miniature Porsche launched high in the air,
Missing a driver it flew lively and quick,
We knew in a moment it must be the kids,
More rapid than jets, the objects they flew,
We swerved and we ducked then shouted out to the crew:
“Be careful! Aim that way! Watch out for the tree!
Move your arm! Stop launching before something hits me!
Watch out for the window! Watch out for the wall!
Stop crashing and bashing cars both big and small!
As rejected old pumpkins from past holidays fly,
When they meet with a trebuchet, mount to the sky;
So up to the ceiling, the autos they flew,
Vehicles, spinning wheels, and parts flying too,
And then in an instant, we saw on the spot the giggling and high-fiving of each little tot.
Our scowls melted to smiles,
And we beamed bright with glee,
A right joyous moment, it all seemed to be.
Until the kids scattered and grabbed more toys from the stack,
Their hands were again busy drawing this and building that.
They sprang up the stairs,
with cars, dolls and Legos too,
playing freely, without care,
like all kids should do.
But we heard them exclaim,
As they ran out of sight,

“Merry Christmas to all, and to all a Good Night!”

Friday, December 20, 2013

Snowman Popcorn Cup Cuteness

Here is a picture of the Snowman Popcorn Cups I made for our school party. Our Room Mom found these in Pinterest, I also posted it to my board here. I wanted to make them since they were so adorable, and knew our daughter would help. 

They were a huge hit and the steps were pretty simple. So, it's a great idea for Holiday Parties, or even movie watching festivities. I mean, everyone gets their own cup so there is no fighting over the bowl, right?

The advice I have for anyone attempting this is: 
Make the cups in advance because cutting and tying ribbons took a little time. 
Pop lots of corn (depending on the number you are serving, we had nearly 30 to serve). I made like four or five big pans of the stuff, and put it in a large bowl to season. 
Keep one of the cups for measuring—I was so glad I did this because there was no way I was going to try and calculate the correct formula for kernels popped per cup with the measurements listed on our popcorn jar. Plus, you need to have enough popcorn for the larger snowman/mom/person. 
Use the cup to measure, fill popcorn to the top, and dump it in a large baggie or container for transporting. 
Stack the decorated cups, take the baggies, the big snowman and bring extra supplies just in case another kid shows up. It happened in our class, but we were prepared.

Enjoy, it's supposed to be fun after all!









Monday, December 16, 2013

Chocolate-Caramel Covered Pretzels and Other Festive Foodie Gifts

This is melted chocolate in a cup…



And this is more…





I have my good friend Debbie to thank for the idea. She gave us these delicious homemade dipped pretzels a couple years ago, and I dreamed of making them ever since. 

This was our year. I really wanted to make something homemade for my child's teacher, and realized it might be fun to give a gift from our kitchen since we love food and cooking—when we have time and it's not an ordeal to get the right ingredients. I even love the occasional culinary challenge, but these days simpler is better. 

I bought gift tins at the craft store a few weeks ago. Then I searched for recipes and eventually narrowed it down to three to five possibles—and changed even those a couple days before the big cook-off. 

I drove out in the snow to a local baking supply store, thanks again to my friend for the idea to go there. It was so much fun to see all the packages of milk, dark and white chocolate, and the sprinkles, sanding sugar and caramel. YUM!

I bought the ingredients and my family all participated in creating these festive goodies. Within 24 hours we made these chewy and delicious Chocolate-Caramel Covered Pretzels, Super Sugar Cookies and Strawberry Oatmeal Bars. 




The stars must have been aligned, or maybe I should consider it a Christmas Miracle because this just doesn't happen any more. We don't usually have enough time, energy, resources and participation to make something like this happen. So, this year's holiday bake-off and  gift giving goes down in the books as a special event. If we're lucky, we'll repeat it again sometime in the future, or even next year. But, for now I'll sit back and enjoy one of the sugar cookies we didn't give away because it wasn't quite round enough, or some other reason, say thanks for our foodie success, and try not to think of how much more we need to finish before Santa Claus comes to town. 

Enjoy the Holiday Season!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Christmas/Holiday Cards—A note on etiquette and why they are worth the hassle

Let me start by saying how thankful I am this year to have a loving family.

I am also thankful for a recent article by an etiquette master stating it IS okay to wish folks a Merry Christmas again. For a few years I’d stop myself mid-Merry even when wishing people I knew to be Christmas celebrants, because I did not want to insult anyone, and also because my brain was still catching up with the times.

Let’s be clear, it is probably not a good idea to wish your bubbe Merry Christmas. But, it does seem okay to wish folks Merry Christmas. Just try to be considerate when in the company of those you don’t know, makes sense.

You might wonder what all this has to do with cards. It means I can finally stop worrying so much when we send cards this year. We want to be respectful, but it’s also important to share an honest sentiment. So, send whatever holiday you celebrate cards to all your friends and family, and try to include a nice note. If you have a business contact or other person you aren’t sure about, send a more general holiday greeting.

Now, for the rest of the story. We almost did not get our annual holiday card photo this year. We take a photo because our kids are cute, and I force my husband and myself to participate so it feels like we’ve got at least one picture each year where we’re all together.

Moms, you know what I mean. There is a whole period of time where all the photos are of the child. Sleeping, smiling, crawling, crying, etc. There are probably thousands of our growing kids, but very few or none showing us. Okay, so I got a few with daddy doing sweet or silly stuff, but I was usually the one taking the photo—hiding my freakish hairdos and baggy eyes (at least a few months/years after baby’s arrival).

If nothing else, a once a year photo op like this forces me to get a haircut, shave my legs (although I sometimes wonder why) and buy/rediscover a nice shirt/outfit. Don’t ask me about shoes, it’s another story for another time (weeps a little).

So, this year we dragged a kid on the verge of a cold and another with a super case of the cranks, even though we discussed cancelling last minute, to the busiest place on earth this time of year and slapped our smiles on for the photog. A fun two hours later we packed the van with our exhausted, hungry family and headed home. Success! And Failure.

Would it have been wise to reschedule? Yes and no. Yes, but we were dressed and the car was warm. Rescheduling meant we probably would have missed our annual trek to the quickie pic place and an opportunity to see our children smile together, in the same picture, at the same time, with both eyes open and looking at the camera. Seriously, I don’t know how they do it, but they usually get some good shots no matter how hard we make it on them, and ourselves.

I say, pack the drinks, munchies, extra patience and a hairbrush and head to the studio. Or do it yourself, we did one year and it was hard and hilarious all at the same time. Your kids are probably growing faster than you realize. Just try to make the most with what you’ve got and smile. Say cheese! 


Note: This is not our actual holiday photo. It was taken on a good day in Frankenmuth though, and probably would have made a fun card.  

Friday, December 6, 2013

Please don’t text while driving!

I don’t often get on my virtual soapbox, but when I do, it’s for good cause. This time is no different.

Many of you know the dangers of texting while driving. You’ve probably heard statistics like these, seen it portrayed on TV shows like this, or encountered it first-hand. So, let me ask you all to sit down with your kids and have a talk.

Maybe you had the birds and bees discussion, or the don’t do drugs talk, that’s great! But, it’s high time as parents, citizens, and adults, we have a talk with each other and our kids about the dangers of using phones while driving.

First, be an example. If they see you doing it, they are more likely to think it’s okay and either do it themselves, or not speak up if a friend is texting while driving. So, put the phone down, please!

Second, tell them you love them and that no appointment, test, date, party—NOTHING—is so important they can’t wait to text, or take time to pull over before sending a message.

The reason for my anxiety, and this PSA? Yesterday, I was driving with my two-year-old through your average suburban neighborhood. While on a quiet street, I noticed a car in a driveway and it appeared to be rolling backwards. Yes, rolling, not driving backwards. 

A teenage boy with his eyes glued to his Smartphone jumped into the passenger side, and I figured the first roll was due to an anxious friend trying to get his buddy’s attention. Note: I’m still driving toward this particular driveway. 

The next instance, I notice the car rolling backwards again, and I’m wary. So, I slow to a crawl and then stop as the car rolls all the way down the driveway and into the street while the driver is looking down at his phone the entire time. He never once looked up to see if it’s safe to back into the street, and he never noticed the huge baby-hauler approaching his driveway. 

If I had not stopped, we would have crashed. He could have rammed the side my kid was on, which makes me want to say STOP and THINK!

He was shocked to see me after he rolled completely out of the driveway and ended up facing our van. The look on his face told me he already knew his error. He knew he was wrong—yelling or throwing up would have only given him an excuse to focus on someone else’s poor judgment instead of his own. (I need to remember this when dealing with my own kids.)

I know we didn’t crash, but it’s because I was hyper-aware. This is only one example of a bigger modern day driving problem. If you need to locate something on your phone, view directions, a map, text, or even call someone, please pull over. Train your children to do and expect the same. Please!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Being thankful

The holidays can be a time of joy and celebration. This year ours will be tempered by some sadness because we lost a dear member of the family.  But, struggles sometimes force us to reflect and remember happier times.

While the pain is fresh, we still have so many things to be thankful for this year. I wanted to make sure to put them out there in case another friend or family member wants to see, or need a reminder too.

So, as we head into the crush of holiday travel, shopping and celebrating remember to be thankful. Today’s top fifty includes important people, and some fun items too! Why not try making your own list? Happy Thanksgiving!

What I’m thankful for…
1.  Family
2.  Friends
3.  A warm, loving home
4.  Getting through the school feast without any food fights
5.  Our oldest saying she’s thankful for her family
6.  Listening to our kids reading books together
7.  Family get-togethers
8.  Getting through dinner without any food fights (Hey, it could happen.)
9.  Green bean casserole (Nearly any kind. If you ever invite us for Turkey Day, have extra on hand.)
10. Music (It’s okay to listen to holiday music now, right?)
11. Chocolate (A contributor to positive mental health any season J)
12. Holiday photos (Especially, when they’re finished. Let the signing and sending begin!)
13. Silly stuff
14. Pumpkin pie with a serious pile of whipped cream on top
15. Football
16. Really good coffee
17. Lights aglow
18. Clear skies and clear roads for all the travelers out there!
19. Nav systems and alternate routes for when the travel isn’t so nice
20. Shopping (Except for the crazy days.)
21. Hand-holding
22. Quiet moments, usually at the end of the day, when the kids are tucked in bed
23. Free shipping
24. Family fun and games
25. When cousins reunite
26. Movie nights
27. Takeout
28. Cookie making
29. Snuggling by the fire
30. Hot Cocoa (see also #11 Chocolate)
31. Dressing up
32. Dressing down
33. Downtime
34. Writing time
35. Vacation!
36. Reminiscing
37. Gluhwein
38. Snow covered trees
39. Playing in the snow
40. Hearing my grandma and her sisters sing (Will miss it so much.)
41. Holiday cards from family and friends
42. Fresh baked bread
43. Great books
44. Sharing stories
45. Great book covers
46. Great mysteries
47. Great comedies
48. Seeing my breath outside on days we can stay home and play
49. Holidays
50. Faith, hope and love

Lil' Pumpkin by K. Gibson

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Playing through the pain


Whenever my peers and I suffered through difficult tests, tryouts, performances and other such trials the words “suck it up” and “shake it off” came out of the mouths of our coaches and teachers frequently. I heard them more times than I care to detail here, but I’ve not forgotten.

I knew going into this venture there would be some highs and lows. By venture I mean fill in the blank—writing career, parenthood, life, you get the picture. I also knew it could lead to fun stuff such as back pain, eye strain, anxiety, saggy butt, carpal tunnel, etc. But, as I stop to write this amidst a major push to finish a novel, raise kids with my husband, freelance, maintain a household, be a good citizen of the world, etc., I am struggling.

I know it is time to push through the pain, but there is a good dose of heavy heart with each page I write and every moment I get with my beautiful family this week. I am not sad by the writing or the family, but because I don’t think my grandma will be around long enough to see the full potential of either.

She has been a huge supporter of my endeavors (and sympathizer of the struggles) to be a writer. I am a writer—at least she saw me practicing my craft and shared in the happiness as I became published. But, I hoped so hard this year she would be around to see her great-grandchildren at the holidays, and be around to read her grandchild's first book.

She loves books. I just thought it would be really great to share part of this with her, and I just don’t know if we’ll have the chance. We have so many wonderful memories, times we went to the library, times we surrounded ourselves with books and catalogs. She helped pass her love of books and learning on to my mom, who gave it to me, and my kids. Our children also get some from their dad’s side, thankfully.

So, while I’m saddened we may lose a dear member of our family, I know I need to be thankful. I am thankful. I am thankful for life, family, and so many things. But, I think it is important to recognize she may not hug the babies again, or read another great story, or even my story. And I need to let myself be sad for this for just a little bit. Maybe a miracle will bring her around, I believe it could happen, but if it doesn’t I know she would want us to celebrate her and share our love with others. In fact, I read stories about people making a wish come true for Batkid and the sweet sentiment of one woman interviewed for Humans of New York yesterday and it made me think of my grandma. 

While we all have problems, struggles and pain, spreading love and joy is an important message we could all use to hear.

I’ll grab some tissues, hug and kiss my sweetie and my kids as often as they’ll let me, get back to the work of publishing articles and book(s), and play through the pain. Whatever happens, I plan to encourage my family to spend more time having fun together, playing, sharing, goofing off, reading and celebrating life. These are gifts, cherish them. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Tips for Getting Your Kid to Like Vegetables - Metro Parent

I got to interview Lisa McDowell, MS, RD, CSSD, manager of clinical nutrition at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor for this article. She is also a mom of two and the team sports nutritionist for the Detroit Red Wings so she knows how to encourage kids and adults to eat their veggies. It's worth a read. 

Check out the article link. The issue on stands also includes a list of top veggies you should try. Happy Munching!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Eggplant fries - Tasty!

I was making Chicken Parmesan. And no matter how many times I've made Chicken Parm there is always extra bread crumb mix leftover. So, I took the opportunity to use the extra breading I knew I'd have to make baked eggplant fries. (I'll say this more than once just to be safe - Make sure to dip the eggplant BEFORE the chicken, don't mix the two for safety reasons.)

Ever on the lookout for veggie recipes my family will eat, I'd come across two ideas similar to this, which is part of what inspired me to make these. Let's say they went over pretty well considering they were not made from potatoes, and they were not actually fried. They were delicious on their own, or dipped in a little marinara. Plus, they're easy. 

Buy an eggplant
Beat 2-3 eggs in a small to medium sized bowl
Mix 3/4 cup of flour with 1 tsp Kosher salt and dash of pepper in a separate bowl
Mix 3/4 cup of Panko breadcrumbs with about a 1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese in yet another bowl (see why I made them right before the chicken parm? If I'm making that many dishes already, it's just smart. Just be sure to make the eggplant FIRST!)
Cut the top and bottom of the eggplant off
Slice into 1/2-inch strips
Coat the eggplant 'fries' in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs
Place on foil lined cookie sheet and bake at 425 until golden, about 18 minutes

Here is a yummy recipe from Giada De Laurentiis served with Basil Ketchup, and another with cornmeal and a pinch of cayenne here

These are the unadorned fries, right out of the oven and just turning golden brown. I'll definitely make them again!


Friday, November 1, 2013

NaNoWriMo and more advice

I think up ideas. Lots of them. This month will be no exception. Today is the start of NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, and I'm using my spare moments to complete a novel and prepare to market it. But, there's more going on here. The last couple days I've also juggled:

1.  Kids
2.  Home
3.  Laundry
4.  Bills
5.  Halloween costume alterations
6.  Lending moral support for pumpkin carving
7.  Toasting 15 pumpkin seeds, because that's about how many we managed to save from the gooey, stringy insides of this year's pumpkins 
8.  Writing and research for the next books in my series 
9.  Paperwork and submissions for art competitions and school fundraisers, and more. 

The point is, we all have a lot to balance. Whether you're struggling with a career decision, a difficult stage of raising kids, or something bigger, here's my advice: Make a list of what you hope to accomplish today. Go back over it and rank your top three. Do what you can to meet those goals today, and let the rest go. Just. Let. Go. 

Easier said than done, I know, but if you get one or two things done today you will feel a sense of accomplishment and inspired to move forward tomorrow. I'm taking this advice. I have to, or I'll crack before the time change hits Saturday/Sunday. 

If you needed extra motivation, or support: Here's a link to the Mayo Clinic stress management site, and a link to NaNoWriMo.  

Make it a great day!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Rock-tober

I've been waiting for fall to really kick in this year. Not sure why, but I have. These past few weeks I spent time with my family enjoying nature's transition. Around here, we've seen trees change colors and leaves falling with each bough-shaking gust. 

Football, drizzly mornings, homemade chili (see photos below) and work spent preparing for upcoming holidays and the deep freeze keep us hustling. And Halloween is only a week away!

In the writerly world, I'm busting out a novel. Yay! You may remember I mentioned getting published a couple of times and in this previous post. It's seriously exciting, and a lot of hard work! At this point, anything is possible!

I plan to share more about the project and the road to publication each week. There may even be a contest and giveaway. So, if you're interested in free stuff, please check back or subscribe to receive updates.

I'm excited about the book this month because a lot of my research and effort seems to be working. As a person who still loves the crack of a new book spine and the feel of holding a weighty page-turner, I planned (years ago) to publish in book form. Now that I've experienced how easy it is to purchase an e-book, and how convenient it is to take that book with me on a variety of mobile devices, I see it as good business sense to publish an electronic version as well. I welcome comments about good books, food,travel, publishing and more. 

Hot chili with cheese and a dollop of sour cream - Yum!

Jiffy corn muffins - double yum!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

How the Government Shutdown Could Affect Your Family...and Why it May Take Superheroes to Fix It

Back in March I posted information about sequestration here. Since the government shutdown this week, it seemed important to talk about how this may affect your family, government job or not. Babble outlines some details here.  

Yesterday, reports stated visitors to Yellowstone National Park were given 48-hours notice to find alternate lodging. CNN explains National Parks and landmark sites, like the Statue of Liberty and the Smithsonian, will close.

After discussing it with my mom for an hour, I felt it necessary to say what many in the country feel. It's a mess and all parties should be blamed. Many have taken to Twitter for a little snark (#govtshutdownpickuplines) and comic relief. But, now is not the time for blame, it's time to get this mess cleaned up. I could write volumes on how I feel about the way this went down, but now it's time to figure out what happens next. 

CNN explains how it got to this and a bit about what could happen here. CS Monitor gives some details with video highlights here. I encourage you to read and figure out what it may mean for you and your family. It would be good if we all learned more about this. Maybe we can put the answer together, like pieces of a puzzle (Marvel, anyone?) 

Maybe it won't take a bunch of genius superhumans to fix this, or maybe it will since neither side wants to flinch. Our elected officials need to remember they are there to serve the best interests of the entire U.S. population, not just their respective political party. It's time to roll up your sleeves and get it done. For the sake of our nation, please, get it done!


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Nashville Season 2 is Coming!

If you get a chance to see it from the beginning, do! You'll hear plenty of entertaining music, and see interesting characters with all sorts of evolving relationships. Gunnar + Scarlett. Rayna + Deacon. Juliette and the world (will she find the right guy?). Yeah, glad it's coming back. Here's a link to the season 2 premiere announcement, with video. 

http://abc.go.com/shows/nashville/blogs/the-latest-on-nashville/premiere-announcement-season-2

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Summer Reads — A Family Finale


It’s back-to-school time, and also time for the final post for this Summer Reads season. Check out these fun children’s books, and a little something for parents, too. Enjoy the school year!

Jamberryby Bruce Degen. Take a cute romp through the berry patches, before winter, with a little boy and a rhyming bear.

TheGoing to Bed Book by Sandra Boynton. A sweet read to share with your little one.


Schooled by Gordon Korman. Looks fun, if I ever get time. Excerpt from Amazon: Capricorn Cap Anderson has been homeschooled by his hippie grandmother, Rain. When Rain is injured in a fall, Cap is forced to attend the local middle school. Although he knows a lot about Zen Buddhism, nothing has prepared him for the politics of public school.

After only a couple days of school, I can see we are probably going to want a few books like these soon.

Mom’s Ultimate FamilyOrganizer by Amy Keroes. Calendar, directory and planning pages. I need something like this right now!




Saturday, August 31, 2013

Back-to-school tips and links

Whether your kids have been in school for a week or are about to go back, here are some helpful tips for heading back to school.

Photo Ops
No matter how busy it gets, have your camera handy the first week of school for capturing a few memorable moments. Here are some tips:
  1. Charge the camera or phone the night before.
  2. Take a snapshot the first morning before they leave. With a sign or backpack, or without. Try to get a photo in the same place year after year to measure their growth.
  3. First afternoon at pick-up or when your child arrives home, if you didn’t manage to get an early morning pic.
  4. In the classroom during an open house. Remember to ask the school first, be as unobtrusive as possible, and don’t take photos of the other kids without their parent’s permission.
  5. Take a photo during the first week while your kid is working on homework or reading a book.
  6. Outside, anytime. Late summer and early fall provides a colorful backdrop for outdoor photos, and your little ones get to unleash some energy while you try to get a great action shot. 


Here’s a link to a fun DIY photo frame kit.
http://www.metroparent.com/Blogs/Make-It/August-2013/First-and-Last-Day-of-School-DIY-Photo-Frame-Project/

Check out this Back-to-school Survival Guide for tips on how to get in good with the teacher and how to start the morning off right.
http://www.annarborfamily.com/b2sguide.pdf

Design a Kid Friendly Workspace for Homework Assignments.
http://www.scholastic.com/parents/resources/article/getting-organized/design-kid-friendly-workspace

Find back to school food ideas on Pinterest.
http://pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=back%20to%20school%20food

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Today's inspiration

Keep swimming, dreaming and believing. Enjoy the end of summer moments you'll miss when the kids return to classrooms and the sun's warmth gives way to autumn breezes. 



Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Metro Parent Pink + Blue Guide

The Metro Parent Pink + Blue Guide is on stands and available online at http://www.metroparent.com/Metro-Parent/Pink-Blue/. It covers pregnancy, babies and more! 

Big Book of Schools 2013

The Metro Parent Big Book of Schools is out and online. Click the link for listings of area private, public and charter schools. There is also information on top teachers, guides for college and tips for choosing a school and getting kids the right amount of sleep. Just in time for school. 


Monday, August 26, 2013

Grilled Glazed Chicken Breasts for Cook's Illustrated

I tested these on the grill in winter, and it was worth the effort. The smell of the grill and the homemade hoisin-style sauce warmed the house and our snowy deck even in freezing temps! The flavor was excellent, our family really enjoyed them. 

Finding white miso paste proved a bit challenging, at first. I searched the web and discovered it is also labeled as sweet or mellow. Speciality and health food stores carried several types.

You can find the recipe in the latest Cook's Illustrated issue on stands now, along with recipes for Spicy Hoisin, Honey Mustard and Coconut Curry Glaze. I attached a link to the video, the full Cook's Illustrated recipe library may require access.

The Reasons Toddlers Act So Crazy - Metro Parent

Check out my latest article on toddler behavior http://www.metroparent.com/Metro-Parent/September-2013/The-Reasons-Toddlers-Act-So-Crazy/. The full September issue is on stands now. 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Back-to-school thoughts


The scent of curry is dissipating, cool water to quench our thirst, and the click-clacking sound as we type.

The day started with burnt toast and excitement. The toast set off the alarm and upset everyone within earshot. Followed immediately by unplugging the battery to stop the high-pitched screech. Then in short order packing up a hyper kid and a tired toddler – alarm incident tears still wet – into the car and shuttling them to orientation.

Nice people, smiling faces, giddy kids. At least I wasn’t the only one juggling multiple kids wanting to run the halls. All I wanted was to observe, question, and understand more about what it’ll all be like for the kid, for me, for all of us.

Line up here, drive there, stay to the left, don't run into anyone. A blur of instructions. Good ones I need to remember. A blur of rooms with small chairs, numbers and the light scent of cleaner and fabric softener. At least it’s clean.

I’m chasing the eager one down the hall with the small one beside me trying to catch up, and I get a feeling in my gut this feeling will stick with me for the next fifteen to fifty years of my life, catch-up, don’t lag, the kids are getting farther and farther away, keep up!

Parents have done this for centuries before us, but I find no comfort in the thought. It’s wonderful and something to help them achieve – this independence – but right now it hurts to think our children will grow up and leave. And I hope part of them stays youthful, like a kid, for fun to lighten their load some days. They should also find their independence, but always know they can depend on us, and visit frequently.

I’m as excited as the kid and as tired as the toddler, just soaking it all into my brain and splitting it into manageable parts – some to deal with now, some for later over lattes with my mom, sister-in-law, or maybe a friend. I think it will help. 

So, cheers to the billions of parents and kids who have done this successfully before, to those who are in the same predicament as us, and to the many to come after. I plan to be hopeful, be helpful, be kind, be vigilant, be protective, be polite, be forgiving, be happy our children are growing – and make this a great year. 


Flower power by K. Gibson

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

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