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Fairy Emma

By Nancy Smith Web Exclusive - September 29, 2008 Long ago, there was a little girl who pranced through our living room in the guise of a fairy. She was four-years-old with blond, curly hair, cheeks like ripe peaches, and a canary-eating grin, both prideful and shy. She had on a light pink leotard, a short skirt of lavender and teal that looked like the petals of a flower, and wings made of wire and crimson satin. In her small hand she held a wand—a yellow star on a wooden stem with long, multicolored ribbons flowing from its base. She was fairy Emma. She was... read more

Women's History Month: America Comes Alive Great Resource for Parents

Thank you to America Comes Alive for this guest post. America Comes Alive is a wonderful resource for parents and families, providing little-known stories of America’s past and information for sharing our rich heritage with children, so be sure to check it out! In honor of Women’s History Month, historian and author Kate Kelly created a project for her website America Comes Alive that profiled thirty women under age 30 who have made a difference in American History. These remarkable women range from women of the past, such as the first woman to be accepted as a veteran... read more

Will You Gaze Lovingly At Your Kids Tonight?

Gretchen Rubin, a New York City based writer and author of The Happiness Project, and her husband have a very sweet tradition. Every once in awhile after they’ve put their two daughters to bed, Rubin’s husband says to her, “Come on, let’s go gaze lovingly.” They tiptoe. Jamie slings an arm around Gretchen’s shoulder. They stand for a moment together and gaze lovingly as their daughters are quietly sleeping. These days my 11-year-old is going to bed later than I am. When we open the door to our room we invariably wake the baby, who’s a light sleeper. But just thinking... read more

Fantastic Forts and Terrific Tree Houses

By Nancy Humphrey Case Issue 126, September/October 2004 I'd seen plenty of extravagance in the marketing of toys, but this magazine ad made my eyes pop. It featured playhouses so elaborate that the cheapest one cost $4,000. Besides shingled roofs, shuttered windows, glass doors, and scalloped trim, they came with options ranging from flying bridges and flagpoles to trapdoors and sliding peepholes. Little was left to the imagination. The Climbing Castle even had 16 hand-carved fleur-de-lis shields. If this wasn't enough, you could go for one of the more expensive custom... read more

Carousel

By Anjali Enjeti-Sydow Web Exclusive - October 6, 2008 We hear the calliope rhythm first, tempting us through the trees and bushes ahead. A stately horse sits on top of the tent-like structure, our North Star, leading us to the Holy Grail of children's amusement. The klip-klop sound of the girls' flip flops grow louder, quicker, and more urgent. When we turn a corner, there it is. Their excitement charges forth like static electricity. It is an indoor carousel, in the middle of a lush green park. In the backdrop is a river, slightly swollen from a recent rain.... read more

Lee's Bed

by Peggy O'Mara Issue 120, Mothering Magazine My children are all grown up. My youngest just turned 21 and my oldest is nearly 30. Reaching the "twos" with your children is a lot like teaching them to swim. When my four were toddlers, I was eager for the day when they all knew how to swim because I worried about them when they were around water. With adult children, it's not the water that you worry about so much; it's the whole world. Toddlers are learning how to navigate in the world; adult children are that... read more

Dogs Don't Belong On the Massage Table

I used to go to a massage therapist pretty regularly a few years ago and it had always done the trick. One time, I pulled a muscle in my back. I think it goes without saying that it was pretty painful. My usual massage lady wasn’t available as soon as I needed-this was a sort of emergency situation and I got in with the one who could see me ASAP. I had never been to her before, but she came highly recommended, so I went. While she did wonders for my back, and seemed nice enough, I didn’t go back. Here’s why: she brought her dog. When she came through... read more

Rules, Rituals, and Routines

The Three Rs of Behavior Management: Rules, Rituals, and Routines By Thomas Knestrict Issue 118, May/June 2003 "My mom and dad want me to be nice to my little sister and not hit her 'cause it's not nice to hit . . . and it hurts." - Jacob, 5 "At night my mom reads me a book before I go to bed. Then I say my prayers and go to sleep." - Jason, 5 "After school I come home and have a snack, then I start my homework. I have to study for 30 minutes every school day before I can go outside and play." - Kinsey, 7 "Mommy gives me a bath at night." - Tyler , 2 "We have a... read more

The Woman in My Seat

By Alisa HolleronWeb Exclusive My ex-husband and his wife picked up the kids recently to take them on a two-week road trip. My sons were beaming with excitement as they loaded suitcases and backpacks into the car. "Did I pack my CD player?" my younger son yelled out to me. "Yes, you did honey," I said, trying hard to hide the sadness that was coming over me in waves. The balloon of tears behind my eyes was growing and stretching thinner by the minute. I prayed it wouldn't explode until they could no longer see me waving good-bye in the rear view mirror. If I hated road... read more

Loving Your Grandkids

By Jessica FoxWeb Exclusive When I got pregnant with my first baby, I was consumed with taking care of myself. I tracked my weight on a chart, made sure I got enough calcium and exercise, and wrote my birth plan. I picked names, my husband remodeled the baby room, and we had a fantastic co-ed baby shower. We were so busy being pregnant, that I barely considered what it would be like to actually be a parent. When June finally came and my wonderful son was born, I relied on my intuition to lead my parenting. Having not read any parenting guides, I could only do what... read more

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