The post election state of our schools, social learning theory, and raising kids who are good citizens


We’ve all been feeling it.  An intensity within us, rising up, as we process the results of the election and an upcoming transfer of political power.  Whether it’s excitement, peace, uncertainty, anxiety, or tremendous fear – we are all experiencing something.  For or against our president-elect, let’s agree on one thing – our children are watching and they’re feeling the feels right alongside us.

Let’s be honest, the kids are not ignorant of our reactions to the world.  They read our faces and mirror our emotions as we process and discuss current events.  They hear our words, often parroting them as truths to their friends, and they bring dinner table discussions to the school cafeteria with the same passion and enthusiasms they see modeled in our homes.  Some of that’s good. We want our kids to be politically competent and engaged with world events.  Unfortunately, civil discourse is difficult.  Heck, even adults don’t always get it right – especially in the arena of politics.Read more

A Summer Tale of the Mystery Rash


A few weeks ago my oldest noticed a red rash and a few odd “spots” on his forearm. The spots itched and looked like bug bites so I applied anti-histamine ointment and told him to ignore the area. If you scratch you’ll only make it worse! Days went by and new spots manifested daily.  I was boggled.  Was this hives?  Did we have a bug problem in the house? Did he get into poison ivy?

Two weeks into the saga his skin condition worsened and he  grew more and more uncomfortable. Sites of the rash that were once small, separate entities, coalesced into large, rough, red regions fully covering his arms and legs. When it began to spread to his upper chest and face I became concerned and was clear out of ideas – what on earth was causing this?

I sent some pictures to my Pediatrician and she agreed we should come in for an evaluation.… Read more

The Shy Factor

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I know the posture well.  Brows raised, eyes wide.  Head barely peeking out from behind my leg.  Little arms wrapped so tightly around my thigh it’s near impossible to break the hold.  This is my three year old being shy.  This was him at soccer practice a few Saturdays ago when we encountered a chaotic swarm of unfamiliar three and four year olds.  The kids were hyped up and squealing with energy as they awaited the start of practice.  Tiny legs jumping, bodies spinning, and hands high-fiving their energetic coaches.  My little guy loves soccer and loves other kids, but warming up to chaotic environments, especially with unfamiliar people, can take him some time.  Watching the others and observing the crazy of it all, he felt intimidated.  Instinctively, he clung to my body and hid his face.

My child was in good company, there were a few other hesitant kids on the sidelines. … Read more

On loving the earth

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“Holy mac!”

The day my son was introduced to real mountains, the Rockies of Colorado, he was awestruck.  “Holy mac!” he exclaimed.  Short for mackerel, apparently.  We were driving up I70, deep into the rocky terrain, with peaks all around us.  “Wow!  It’s beautiful, right Mom?  Let’s hike to the top of the mounts’!”  He was into abbreviating his words this vacation.  It was beautiful, so beautiful.  We did end up taking him hiking on that trip, but turns out, despite the enthusiasm, his little three year old legs weren’t quite up to the task of summiting.  Maybe when he gets older.

No one teaches us to love the earth.  It’s in us.  Babies giggle at playing in the dirt, attempt to climb trees the moment their limbs are long enough to reach the first branch, and display wonderment at rippling water long before they can form proper words.  Given this innate drive within us to seek nature, it’s not surprising that there are a wild array of health benefits to spending time in the great outdoors.… Read more

#TheDollEvolves: What Barbie’s New Body Can — And Cannot — Do For Our Girls’ Body Image

Petite, Tall, Curvy, and Original Barbie

Also check out this article as published on Cognoscenti, a new ideas and opinion page developed by WBUR, Boston’s NPR news station.

Last week, Mattel announced a new line of Barbie dolls, complete with a new hashtag: #TheDollEvolves. The dolls have one of three “real woman” figures — curvy, tall and petite. The new bodies are outfitted with various skin tones, hair colors and hair textures, so that when kids peruse the Barbie aisle, they will see dolls resembling the real people in their lives. This is Mattel’s latest attempt to increase their bottom line, to win back the fandom of families, and to give Barbie more realistic features and proportions. Of course, the standard white, thin, blonde and busty Barbie will still exist, but now kids (and parents) have a more diverse set of options when choosing which doll to take home.

It’s helpful that Mattel is expanding the diversity in their doll line, but I’m not convinced that the new Barbie will sell.… Read more

The Family Table

The Family Table Kids' Health with Sarah
The best dippy eggs I have EVER eaten
The best dippy eggs I have EVER eaten

Over the weekend I bought a table.  It’s secondhand off Craigslist – simple, mid-century, with clean lines, six accompanying chairs, and an amazing back story.  The original owners first purchased the dining set as newlyweds nearly 60 years ago.  Over the years their table served as hub to countless meals and dinnertime conversations as the couple experienced life and raised their babies into adulthood.

I met the couple’s daughter and learned that her parents had recently transitioned into assisted living.  With this came the selling of their home and, ultimately, the posting of their table to Craigslist.  The daughter assured me that her mother would be delighted to know that her table would continue as a gathering place for family.  Another generation of silly kids to dangle their legs off the chairs, a backdrop to photos of extensive holiday gatherings, a space for our family to laugh over competitive board games and to cry over complicated homework assignments as the kids grow older.… Read more

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