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Promoting a Lifelong Love of Reading

  I remember when my oldest daughter was an infant.  Everything was fresh and new, and I was eager and excited.  I wanted what was best for her.  I wanted to give her the world.   And I would turn on the television or open a parent’s magazine, and I would be bombarded with advertisements about programs to teach infants to read.  The claims were remarkable with tots who are barely old enough to speak able to read off of flashcards, and slightly older children reading books way above what one would expect.   And I admit.  I was intrigued.  We all know how important... read more

Listen Up, Moms! It's CHILDHOOD Cancer Awareness Month

By Suzanne Leigh                 If you’re like most people, you’ve probably never heard of it – or even noticed those gold ribbons, the emblems of childhood cancer.   I know I didn’t know that September was Childhood Cancer Awareness Month until my 7-year-old was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor.    Sometime in the middle of one of Natasha’s vicious chemo cycles, I wondered into a grocery store that was festooned with pink ribbons, and was asked at check-out if I wanted to make a donation in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Sure I did, but why was... read more

To My Son

  I forgot to tell you, I guess it slipped my mind, how my world tipped on its axis and I blinked and looked around with my breath caught and my eyes blurred and my heart opened wide the day I found out you were on your way.   Did you know I used to carry around the blurry back and white ultrasound photo in my wallet so I could take it out and trace my finger over the hills and valleys of your profile, the chord that connected our bodies. I was yours and you were mine.   Have I mentioned that I pushed and pushed and thought that I would never make it, that I... read more

The End of Summer

  “The crickets sang in the grasses. They sang the song of summer’s ending, a sad, monotonous song. ‘Summer is over and gone,’ they sang. ‘Over and gone, over and gone. Summer is dying, dying.’ “The crickets felt it was their duty to warn everybody that summertime cannot last forever. Even on the most beautiful days in the whole year – the days when summer is changing into fall – the crickets spread the rumor of sadness and change.” - Charlotte’s Web My nine year old son and I often sit on the chaise on our balcony on summer evenings. We snuggle up and watch the... read more

Reflections on my Summer as a Work at Home Mom

Working from home is always an exercise in setting healthy boundaries, with and without also being a mom and a housewife.    There are definitely pros and cons to working from home with a six-year-old.  When I made the decision to have my daughter at home this summer, I had visions of her sitting quietly at the kitchen table practicing her handwriting and math skills while I counted the deposit or created pages for the JFM website.  I pictured her helping me in the kitchen and walking to the bank with me.  My reality was not the tranquil image I had planned, but... read more

The Myth of Normal

                 It could be argued that the idea of normal is the one of the most psychologically damaging ideas ever to hit modern culture. For lurking just behind the pervasive and negative running commentary that affects most of my clients, “What’s wrong with me?” is the question, “Why can’t I just be normal?” But what is normal?   To me, normal is trying to squeeze yourself into a narrow range of what our society views as acceptable behavior. It’s living life muted because your loud sounds and bright colors don’t fit the mold.  It’s cutting off the flares of who... read more

Panicking about Preschool

                  My stomach is in knots, and I'm teetering on the edge of tears when I think about it.  Julie starts preschool tomorrow.  I know it's illogical.  I know that this will be really, really good for my girl, and I know that I need to make sure that I don't show any of my reservations to her.  I know all that.   But that's my baby, and I don't want her to go.   She's my last one, but that doesn't really matter.  I was just as misty when my older two started school.  It's more that she's just barely three and a half, and I'm not ready for her to be... read more

Ten Things You Will Totally Do When You Have Kids

            (Get ready to eat some humble pie. I like mine with whipped cream. Vegan, obviously.)   1.Talk about your kid incessantly Yes you will. To family. To friends. On Facebook. Oh so much on Facebook. But only because your kid is way more adorable and smarter and more advanced than those other babies whose every babble and meal and toothless grin were documented for the world. Obviously.   2. Catch vomit in your hands There is no reason for parents to develop this particular instinct. It does not make anything better. In fact, it makes it worse because now... read more

Lessons from Tots: The Importance of Joy

                After I dropped my oldest off at kindergarten today, I took my two little girls on a quick trip to the grocery store to buy a couple of last minute items.  As you can probably expect, there is really no such thing as a “quick trip” to the grocery store with an infant and a two year old.   I started pushing the cart with the baby, and Goosie, my two year old, was running ahead of me, squealing at each item we passed by.  Within the matter of about thirty seconds, she was filled with excitement over a Hallmark card, a coloring book, pineapples,... read more

Dessert Before Dinner

                       By saying YES to ice cream before dinner, we can say YES to life, YES to joy, and YES to abundance!   Yesterday evening my children asked me to have ice cream at 6:00pm. The Oldest One's guitar teacher was on his way over and I was getting ready to fix dinner so that we could eat around 6:45 after his lesson was over. My first inclination was to say no. We can wait to have ice cream for dessert, after we had eaten our healthy food first. The boys stepped up their requests and added, "Please Mom! Just this once!" And it occurred to... read more

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