The Body Image Project – “lap it up”

July 21.

I love kids.


Someone once asked me “What’s your impossible dream?”  In other words, outside of reality and the confines of human existence, what would you want to do?  What would you BE?

Before I had kids, I answered this question only one way.


Batman’s bravery plus Superman’s …everything, plus Wonder Woman’s combat and weapon training (and amazing boobs and tin foil bracelets, super duh), plus Optimus Prime bad-assery, plus Nightcrawler’s ability to teleport, plus Jean Grey’s telekinesis, Flash’s speed, Aquaman’s under-water-ness (because I’m a mermaid in my dreams) and the ability to turn will into reality like Green Lantern.

omg that would be so amazing.

(I am totally geeking out right now.  WHY DO I NOT HAVE ALL THOSE THINGS.)

Except then I had kids, and my answer changed.  Read More


Ten Rules for Making Change in your Home and Marriage – “How to Forge Depth”

When you walk into your home at the end of the day, how does it feel?  Are you happy to be there?  When you’re at work, do you feel excited to return home to your family, or do you wish you could stretch your day a little longer?

Not so long ago, I lived in some pretty crappy conditions.  The house I lived in was quite nice; it had a yard for the kids to play in, there was comfy furniture in the living area and the kitchen was well lit.  I’m a neatfreak, so the house was always clean, and there were plenty of shelves and closets to tuck away our belongings.  All in all, the physical state of our home was great.

Still, it was crappy.

Although the house itself and our living space was comfortable, my home was not.  There were some people living in my space that changed the culture of our home, and the culture was almost total crap.

I hated coming home.

“Home” is not the building you live in, or the space you occupy.  “Home” is made up of the people inside, and of the relationships between those people.  Collectively, the relationships in your home define your home’s culture.  The culture of your home can be good or bad, positive or negative, common or foreign, but it is as unique as the people that create it.
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To My Spectacular Norah D

To My Dearest Norah D,

Today you turn nine.

When I decided to write you this letter, I had intended on making a list of all the things I love about you.  I thought about what kind of girl you are, and what kind of woman you will become.  I thought about all the things that make you great:  your sense of humor, your sense of style, the way you make friends so easily, your kindness and compassion and fierce loyalty to the people you love.  There is no doubt that you are an amazing girl and a wonderful person, and if I DID make a list of your Greatness the list would be long.  I just love you so much, and I am so proud of you.

Once I started writing, though, telling you about your great qualities was not quite enough.
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If You’re the Parent, it IS Your Fault

One morning at the end of May, I stopped at the grocery store to buy a last minute snack for my son’s preschool.  Seriously… “last minute.”  As we were getting in the car to drive him to school, the four year old piped up from the back seat.

“MOMMY, today is my snack day.  Do you remember?  I just forgot, but now I remember.”

UM NO I DID NOT REMEMBER.  Turn off car, bolt to front door, unlock door, race up the stairs two at a time, check the calendar on the fridge.

Yep, it was written right there.  Right in between “Kinder Registration Due,” “Meet Aubrey at 9.45,” “Meet Silverlake @ 11.00,” “Book Fair 12.00,” and “Parent Teacher Conference 1.30 – 3.00,”

Can’t imagine why I missed it, right?
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“What did you just say to me?!” – Hear What They Mean, Not What You Think

My dad used to tell me, “You have two ears and one mouth, use them in that proportion.”  I would always roll my eyes and get irritated when he pulled out that little gem, usually because he’d slap it on me when I was mid-sentence (and probably not doing a very good job listening).  It was a gem, though, and as much as it pains me to tell him “FINE, YOU WERE RIGHT,” he was totally right.

Listening is VITAL.

And not just “hearing.”  Hearing is a passive thing.  LISTENING is something else entirely.

The third aspect of Active Listening is understanding what the speaker is saying, both what they are actually saying and what they are meaning to say (because those two things are often different).

For example.  [You had to see this coming.  The best way to learn is to hear a story about how someone else screwed it up, and as luck would have it I am a FIELD EXPERT in “screw up.”  So here ya go.]

I really, really don’t like the word “comfortable.”
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Depth and Parenting – Guiding Children through Childish Mistakes

This morning as I was herding kids out the door to catch the bus, the eight year old burst into tears.


I turned my head to look, and she held out toward me her homework folder. The one that comes home Monday, and is turned in FIRST THING Tuesday morning. The one that was full of not-even-started, not-finished homework. The one I asked about last night, “did you get your homework done,” and was told “yes, I read my book on the bus.”

Her BOOK was done, her worksheets were not. She just plain forgot.

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Accountability and Parenting – Get Up and Make an Impact

Yesterday my older son was scheduled for kindergarten screening.  We piled in the car and headed to the elementary school, siblings in tow.

After brief introductions and an explanation of the process, the soon-to-be kindergarteners were whisked away to the testing room.  Parents were left to finish paperwork, read information on the school policies, sign consent forms, and wait.  And wait, and wait.

Many of the other parents had siblings with them also, some younger and some older.  Force-of-habit head count came up with ten kids altogether.

Some of those kids were more of a handful than others.
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