Author: Mary Grace Peak

Potty Training My Son

Dear Luke, A few years ago, I  wrote a letter to your sister when she started potty training. This worked out ok so I have decided to do the same for you. I have decided to give potty training you a try this summer. Please bear with me as we embark on this journey because I don’t quite know how to potty train a boy. With your sister it was easy. I am female and grew up in a predominantly female household. But what do you do with boys? Do you stand? Sit? Straddle the seat? And if so, facing forward or back? Because I’ve been told you can do both. Nonetheless, we will try this sitting down so you can do whatever sort of business you need to without too much moving around. Keep it simple is my motto. I have been told it takes longer to potty train boys than girls. No one knows why. The Academy of Pediatrics thinks it’s because boys are more active than girls, but I can’t imagine that to be true because your sister never stopped moving ever since she rolled herself off the sofa at 2 months old. No worries – she was ok – but just scared the living daylights out of me. But I digress – this post is about you. Anyways, I consider using the potty one of...

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A Letter to Myself as a First-Time Mom: On Traveling with Kids

I just got back from a fantastic mini get away with husband and the kiddos. Like, I literally got off the plane, fed my kids, gave them baths, packed lunches for tomorrow, caught up on work email and sat down to write this post. While pondering the last five days spent together with my family, I feel like we really turned a parenting corner this trip – I actually thoroughly and completely enjoyed my time away with my family. I have written extensively about traveling with my little munchkins and have spent the last five years trying to figure out how to “do” vacation with kids. I never thought it could get easier and more enjoyable. But it has. If I could go back in time and tell myself as a first time mom what it would be like, not to stress out over traveling, this is what I would say: Dear Me, Yay you have a new baby girl! You are an awesome mom and are about to embark on your first trip with your little one. You are scared that she will lick the arm rest on the plane or cry her head off on the long flight. Rest assured, these things will happen, but it will be ok. A few years from now you will add a funny but crazy little boy to bring along in...

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10 Reasons to Support the CT Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association

We can do no great things, only small things with great love. – Mother Teresa   This past Mothers’ Day and one day before her 82nd birthday, I lost my mother to complications from Alzheimer’s Disease. It was a long battle that I have written about several times on this blog. But this post is not going to be about her death, as I am still trying to process her life, suffering and passing. Rather, it is my intention to bring greater awareness to Alzheimer’s and dementia; help inspire others to take action to support those whose lives have been shattered by this epidemic; and help make advances toward eradicating this horrific disease. The Connecticut Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association does amazing work and since this is the season for giving, I am asking that you consider supporting them in some small way for the following reasons:     It is the only cause of death in the top 10 in America that cannot be prevented, cured, or slowed. 2. One in three senior citizens will die of Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. 3. As our population ages, Alzheimer’s is becoming a more common cause of death.  In fact, in 2015 an estimated 700,000 people will die from this disease. 4. Almost two thirds of those suffering are women – our mothers, grandmothers, sisters, and friends being robbed...

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Kindergarten Rules

My daughter started Kindergarten this year. It has been the biggest change in her little life, second to the birth of her brother.  It has been a whirlwind of learning experiences for everyone in this family. There are new routines to be established, new faces to become acquainted with, and many new rules to follow as an elementary school mom rookie. I am trying my best to jot down the latter as I go along… 1.      Get this kid to school on time!  Yep, we are still working on this one without losing our sanity.  We are still adjusting to the fact that kindergarten starts an hour earlier than preschool and where the teachers were pretty understanding of tardiness. But last week was a low point when my husband ushered her in to school after the second bell rang (gasp!) only to be greeted by the school Principal who is a lovely, but stern, woman whom I would never want to mess with.  She kindly told Mia that her “Parents have to do a better job getting her to school on time in the morning.”  If it were me, I probably would have had diarrhea of the mouth and quickly thrown my daughter under the bus by telling the Principal that Mia wouldn’t get her butt out of bed. But I have a feeling that would not have gone...

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The one phrase I never thought I’d hear my daughter say

My daughter started kindergarten this year. In just a few short weeks, I have noticed big changes in her that I know are part of her growing up and starting this new chapter in her life. She has homework once a week and does it even though there are days that require a lot of nudging on my part.  She has had made new friends with relative ease.  She rides the bus and thinks it is the coolest thing ever.  She has to follow the rules and acknowledges that she will face more serious consequences than at preschool for her wrong doings. She goes to school with the “big kids” and looks up to them.  She is navigating her way through this new world slowly, and on her terms. But I have to say, the most significant transformation I have seen in her lately is her attitude. Like most school-aged children, she is very strong willed and can be tough to handle when she does not get her way. That is why I counted down the days to kindergarten.  I was hoping it would give her the discipline and structure she needed at this stage in her life. So the other day when I asked her to turn off the television and go take a bath and she responded with, “Okay, mom.”  Say what? She did what I asked...

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