Parenting for the Win

I’ve been parenting for the win a lot lately, and I just thought I’d share a couple things I’m doing exceptionally well so you can follow my example and better your parenting, too.

First, I accused my teenager of acting like a 5-year-old because she didn’t want to come out of her room for, you know, the whole weekend, so I was feeling rejected, hurt and powerless, and also the tiniest bit premenstrually enraged, and that’s always the best time to accuse others. That’s when she told me she was staying in her room because she was in a bad mood and didn’t want to take it out on others “since that’s what you say to do, Mom; if you can’t be kind, take some time alone until you can.”   ...  read more

The Last Doll

I stood in the mall in the tiny store crowded with books and toys and trinkets of all shapes and sizes, and I stared at the wall of stuffed animals as I tried desperately to narrow down my choice.

I was 8 years old, and my fourth facial surgery was just a few days away. The stuffed friend I was about to pick would be my hospital companion, tasked to stay with me after visitor hours ended when my parents would be required to leave. ...  read more

Warning: Kids Grow Up. This Is Not a Drill.

I feel like it’s important to warn you so you at least have a chance to avoid me today. To hunker down in your house under your blankets or your baby’s burp-rag or whatever you can find. To lock yourself in the bathroom and to tell your littles to shush and quiet down and here, eat this whole Hershey bar so the crazy lady outside can’t hear us when I come pounding on your door. To not answer the phone when I call you. To put an out-of-office notice on your email. To runRun, is what I’m saying. Save yourselves. ...  read more

How to Use an Eye Phone

Abby and I were in Portland last weekend for her dance convention. This is why:

photo 1 (42)

And, of course, this:

Abby flies

I love spending time in Portland. It soothes my soul.

photo 3 (31)

And I adore spending time with my oldest kid. Because even though we can be whiny and needy and human…, photo 2 (47) … she also teaches me important things I need to know like how to take trendy eyeball photos with (I’m so, so sorry about this) my eye-phone. Like this: photo (40)(Nice eyeball, Abby.) ...  read more

5 Tips for Planning a Homeland Trip

We adopted our oldest daughter from Vietnam and our next two kiddos from Guatemala, so we regularly consider ways to incorporate their birth countries into our family life.

Now, because I’m me and you’re you and we’re not good at facades around here, I’ll tell you I sort of suck at the more common or, shall we say, consistent ways other adoptive families blend cultures. None of my kids have had language lessons. We rarely remember to participate in adoptive family group gatherings. We once, ten years ago, celebrated a Vietnamese holiday but we’ve never managed a repeat with a Guatemalan fiesta. And we haven’t done well at participating in our local Asian or Latino communities. All of those are good ideas. I fully support them. I even intend to keep making attempts. But the current reality is, we don’t manage to do them. ...  read more

Paris: Bike About Tours

Ah, Paris.

We loved the Eiffel Tower at dusk.

And the boat tour on the Seine.

And the crépes and cafés and croissants.

And the art. Of course the art.

And, even though it physically pains me to admit it in public like this, we had a fabulous day at Disneyland Paris.

But when people ask me for my #1 favourite part of our trip, I keep saying the bike tour. Which is funny because I was somewhat hesitant to book it. ...  read more

Paris: City of Fine Art

If I die first, I’ve promised Greg I’ll work behind the spiritual scenes to ensure that his next wife loves lingering in museums more than sitting in Parisian cafés, whiling away the time with a cozy cappuccino and a fresh croissant. “The Louvre three days in a row??” she’ll say just like me except with a smile instead of crazy eyes, and then unlike me she’ll follow up with, “Let’s start now! I can’t wait!” ...  read more