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18 posts categorized "Parenting"

21 December 2011

Galapagos with Gap Adventures - Travel Savvy Mom (August 2011)

LogowithtitleAs part of a 9-part series for Travel Savvy Mom, I chronicled a 10-day Galapagos Islands adventure with Gap Adventures. 


They say any journey begins with a single step.  Ours starts with a non-stop plane journey–and a queasy feeling that I’m forgetting something really important.

Ever since Gap Adventures invited Chet and I to give their Galapagos Family Adventure a go, I’ve been wondering what exactly we need.  Though we’ve traveled extensively, I’m not sure what Gap’s “adventure” travel means.  Nor do I know how to define what a “comfort” level may be.  And while I follow Gap’s packing list to the letter, I have a nagging suspicion I’m forgetting something important.  I spend the day packing and second guessing and then re-packing again.  Once I manage to meet the list and pack a single duffel bag for both of us under 37 lbs., I call myself done and hope for the best...

(To read the rest of the series, click here).

21 August 2011

Letting go and exploring the world (The Balance Sheet, a blog - 16 August 2011)

Parents_aws I recently guest-posted for Allison Winn Scotch's popular blog, The Balance Sheet, about letting go and traveling with your kids.


I have a confession to make:  I consider ‘balance’ to be a bit of a dirty word.  Sure, I understand why it’s important.  As a single Mom, freelance writer and avid traveler, I run the risk of knocking my ‘balance’ out of whack on a daily basis.  (That’s why they invented wine, right?)  But, as I read about this elusive ‘balance’ in women’s magazines, listen to life coaches talk about it on television and see it mentioned as often as “loving long walks on the beach” on dating profiles, it feels more like pressure than release.  Think about it.  Balance is always described as some sort of end state.  You simply tweak a few things and—Voila!—you are in balance, complete with a strong career, happy kids and thinner thighs.  But as any former ballerina can tell you, balance is hard work.  There is never that promised end state—rather, balance is a continuous process involving focus, a strong core and an unyielding belief that you can do the impossible.  (Or, at the very least, the improbable).  Just the idea is exhausting...

(To read the rest of the post, click here).

Hearts and Minds (Houston Chronicle City Brights Blog)

Chron I am now contributing a new weekly blog to the  Houston Chronicle City Brights collection:  Hearts and Minds

In it, I discuss new findings in life, love and science.  With the occasional personal story thrown in. 

04 March 2010

Chet of Arabia (The Atlantic Monthly - March 2010)

COVER_bigger_atlWhy do I travel to exotic destinations with my son?  In "Chet of Arabia," I discuss traveling to Jordan with my three-year-old son during my husband's deployment to nearby Iraq.


We ENTER THE archeological park early in the morning, soon after it opens. As a solo mother with a preschooler, I choose to take the horse-drawn carriage through the Siq—the astonishing mountain-cut pathway to Petra...

(To read the rest of the piece, click here). 

04 November 2008

Four winter pregnancy worries - and how to deal (American Baby - November 2008)

345_ABNov08 Worried about your winter pregnancy?  I look at four worries about being pregnant during the wintertime for an article in the November 2008 American Baby.


Being pregnant in winter may seem like a nuisance, but there are actually plenty of upsides to expecting once the temperatures plunge. Here are four reasons to stop worrying and start embracing your cold-weather pregnancy...

(To read the rest of the article, click here).

12 June 2008

Pharoahs, and Pyramids, and Mummies, Oh My! (Travel Savvy Mom - June 2008)

Logo1 A profile of a trip to Egypt with my son, along with several other hotel write-ups, appears on the Travel Savvy Mom website.  I will be blogging there regularly as a contributing editor.


Egypt is filled with enough enigmatic history to delight kids young and old. Add to that sand, crazy camel drivers and the busiest streets you’ve ever seen, and your child is likely to spend your whole visit entranced by the chaos...

(To read the rest of the profile, click here).

11 May 2008

When your toddler is a late talker (Parenting - May 2008)

Par_sub_char_mod_02An article about toddlers and delayed speech appears in the May 2008 issue of Parenting Magazine. 


If your toddler seems behind in speech and language, people often try to offer up "helpful" advice. Careful -- they may pass on misinformation. The facts about some things you might hear...

(To read the rest of the article, click here).

05 December 2007

Picture Perfect (Parenting - December 2007)

Parenting_90wA short Ages+Stages piece on getting your toddler to smile pretty for professional photos appears in the December 2007 issue of Parenting.


When Cindy D'Erasmo of New Rochelle, NY, took her daughter, Isabella, to the photographer on her first birthday, she was in for an unpleasant surprise. Though Isabella had happily cooperated in the past, this time she cried and refused to pose until her mother handed her some Cheerios — visible in the finished photo...

(To read the rest of the article, click here).

05 November 2007

In Her Shoes: The Fun Aunt (American Baby - November 2007)

345_ab1107covAn essay about my days as a "fun" aunt appears in the November issue of American Baby.


The evidence of my transgressions lay before me. The drum set that couldn't be played quietly if one tried. A toy cell phone that chirped children's songs in irritating tones. And dozens of blocks, vehicles, and action figures that glowed, twirled, and buzzed...

(To read the rest of the essay, click here).

04 July 2007

Dream On: The Fantasy Life of New Moms (American Baby - July 2007)

Cover_abapr06 A list of humorous daydreams appears in the "In Your Words" section of the July 2007 issue of American Baby. 


Sure, you once fantasized about romantic getaways, becoming rich and famous, or perhaps just finding that perfect pair of shoes on sale.  Now, however, fierce Mommy love, hormone surges, and sleep deprivation have led you to daydreams made of grander stuff...

The issue is available in many major supermarkets and bookstores.

30 January 2007

A New Kind of Living Space (Irving Parent - November 2006)

Webpagecoversip My essay, "A New Kind of Living Space," was reprinted in the regional parenting magazine Irving Parent in November 2006.  The essay first appeared in the Christian Science Monitor titled as "Our Home's Designer Look, Courtesy of Fisher-Price." 

23 January 2007

Talking About the Problem (Literary Mama - 22 January 2007)

Lmbook_largeMy Op-Ed on the lack of desire to discuss the efficacy (or lack thereof) of Megan's Law is now up on the Literary Mama website. 


Not long ago, I was discussing the DaiShin WolfHawk case with some friends, most of whom, like me, are mothers of young children. All of them applauded Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania for removing Melissa and DaiShin’s child a mere 24 hours after he was born. They felt that the father’s 20-year-old rape conviction and presence on the sexual offender registry should preclude him from raising a child. And they had no issue about the County terminating the parental rights of the mother either, believing that just the fact she had willingly brought a child into the world with a sex offender made her automatically unfit. When I disagreed with them and stated that though I doubted the WolfHawks would be winning any “Parent of the Year” awards, I still felt that their basic rights had been violated, I was vehemently accused of not wanting to “protect the children.” I was stunned by the reaction...

(To read the rest of the Op-Ed, click here).

28 December 2006

A New Kind of Living Space (Kansas City Parent - Winter 2006)

Dec20cover20125 My essay "A New Kind of Living Space" was reprinted in Kansas City Parent magazine.  The essay originally appeared in the Christian Science Monitor titled "Our Home's Designer Look, Courtesy of Fisher-Price" in December 2005.

27 November 2006

A Baby's Favorite Plaything (Christian Science Monitor - 27 November 2006)

Csm_logo_2 My essay on being my son's favorite toy (and the many embarrassing public performances that accompanied that honor) appears today in the Christian Science Monitor.


Like most expectant mothers, I read a number of books about pregnancy, wanting to know, well, what exactly I should be expecting! I pored over these books - highlighting passages, taking quizzes, and marking off checklists - in order to make sure that I was prepared for anything and everything the birth of my son might bring. And I thought I was ready...


07 August 2006

Understanding, Lost and Found in Translation (The Washington Post - 7 August 2006)

Washpostlogo_1 My essay, "Understanding, Lost and Found in Translation" appears today in the Style section of the Washington Post. 


Alittle less than a year into my husband's tour of duty with the Army in Germany, I lay in a bed in the Kreißsaal (labor ward), hoping to delay our baby's birth as long as possible.

As I pulled books from the bag of distractions that my husband had brought to help pass the time, I found I had to brush a fine dusting of sand from each cover. The bag had been unused since his deployment to Iraq, its pockets still coated with the unintentional souvenir of a year I'd rather forget. By the time I wiped the fifth book clean, the baby decided he had had enough of life on the inside and switched residence to an incubator in the neonatal intensive care unit...

(To read the rest of the essay, click here).

19 May 2006

Infant Potty Training: One Mom's Diary (American Baby - April 2006)

Cover_abapr06 A diary about my experiences trying elimination communication, or infant potty training, with my son, Chet, appeared in American Baby's April 2006 issue.  Here is an excerpt:

The First 5 Days

I was skeptical about elimination communication (EC), but I decided to give it a go when my 7-month-old, Chet, started on solids and his bowel movements got messy.  Here's the (poop!) scoop.

Day 1:  The first step is observation.  I place Chet au naturel on a pad-covered play mat and watch.  I know that a red face and grunts mean a poop is imminent.  But I get no such signal for number one.  I carry him to the sink every 20 minutes or so, but he only pees on the floor en route.

Day 2:  I take Chet to the bathroom after his nap and feedings, but he just  won't go in the sink.  I hold him over the basin until he wails in frustration and then return him to his play mat.  Almost on cue, he takes a whiz.  As a result, his play mat smells like a week-old litter box.  The only thing that kills the odor:  a special solution I have for the dog's accidents....

(To read the rest of the article, click here).

Normal (Literary Mama - April 2006)

Lmbook_large My essay Normal appeared on the Literary Mama website in April 2006.  It's a piece about my sojourn in the NICU with my premature son.


He lies face down in a glass box, his tiny face glowing golden from the red and yellow lights of the monitor nearby. The neo-natal intensive care unit seems at first to be a peaceful place. The lights are always dimmed. Visitors and employees alike adopt a quiet tone when talking. The machines attached to my son hiccup a gentle beep in time with his heart, often lulling my husband and me into a peaceful daze. Until, that is, the trance is broken with a deafening alarm that signals that someone’s heart is not beating properly. Then a wave of panic erupts across the ward.

During the first few days of our child’s stay in the NICU, this alarm jolted our fight-or-flight response. Each tone caused my stomach to plummet. I found myself gripping the arms of my chair as I frantically tried to get a clear view of my son’s heart and lung monitor...

(To read the rest of the essay, click here).

Our Home's Designer Look, Courtesy of Fisher-Price (Christian Science Monitor - 1 December 2005)

Logo_2 An essay about the home redecoration that a new baby requires was published in the Christian Science Monitor's Home Forum section on 1 December 2005.


Move over, Martha Stewart - I have redecorated my house and it is fabulous! My days of paging through furniture and design catalogs for new, spectacular ideas have ended. Forget Art Deco, French country, or urban contemporary styles - for me, those are so yesterday. And none of those looks support my needs any longer.

I've decided to go a more organic route. My house's new look is casual, but utilitarian. Bright and playful. Practical, with more than a bit of whimsy. And did I mention colorful? It ought to be. The color palette was provided by Fisher-Price...

(To read the rest of the essay, click here).