Why I’m Teaching My Daughter About Media Literacy

Oct 23, 2014 by


I’m willing to bet that every single American woman has struggled with negative self-image. We see media images everywhere that reinforce dangerous ideas about beauty (that we should all be white and unrealistically thin). We’re told that we should be able to snap right back to our pre-baby bodies because hey, Kim Kardashian and all those other celeb mamas did. We are constantly bombarded not only by visual representations of what our society thinks we should look like and be like but we get it from every form of media (radio, print, websites).

Three Pumpkin Hacks

Oct 22, 2014 by

Happy Fall!  It’s my favorite season and I know many people feel the same way.  Although it does seem like the hype and commercialism of all things fall has gotten a bit out of hand.  Amiright?  If you have the time check out this post that had tears streaming down my face I was laughing so hard. (Beware: there is lots of salty language in the post.)

Everyone is pumpkin crazy.  I seriously think there are people out there that think they like pumpkin because of all the hype but really don’t.  I might be one of those people.  It all sounded good at the time.  Although after one Pumpkin Spice Latte I was all set, that shit tastes like soap to me.  And I despise pumpkin pie.  It’s a consistency thing.  Yuck.  There are two pumpkin flavored things I like that I’m going to share with you to make your fall life simpler.

When To Say When

Oct 22, 2014 by

This is the first year my son is really “into” Halloween. He carefully considered his costume for months. He changed his mind about 31 times after finally settling on Batman. When his costume arrived, he immediately tried it on, running around the house yelling, “I’m Baaaatmaaaan” and spent the rest of the day saving the world. This is also the first time he’s intrigued by Halloween’s “scary things”. He saw someone dressed in a monster costume on TV and my first reaction was to cover his eyes and change the channel (the guy was really scary!). But it was too late. He saw it and was amazed. He asked me to rewind it so he could see it again. I did. Again and again and again. I kept assuring him “it’s only a costume, it’s not real” but he didn’t want to hear it. He was too busy gaping at the crazy werewolf man hulking around on the screen. I could tell he was a little nervous, but utterly fascinated at the same time.

Finding Strength After Loss

Oct 22, 2014 by

Last week, I almost missed a very important day had it not been for my Facebook feed filled with posts commemorating Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day on October 15th. In fact, the entire month of October is dedicated to those who have suffered this loss. As I scrolled through friends’ status updates on their experiences and read heartbreaking blog posts about loss, I was reminded of my experience and the long journey to having my now eight month old son.

Three and a half years ago, I found out I was pregnant with our second child on St. Patrick’s Day. I resisted taking a home pregnancy test before then because I wanted to find out what I had been suspecting on a special day my family would always remember.  When the little stick turned positive my husband and I felt pure joy and disbelief at how easy it was to conceive the second time around. This time, I felt a stronger sense of preparedness, having lived through being a first-time mother. This time, I knew what I was in for. And Mia was going to be a big sister!

Grown Ups

Oct 22, 2014 by

More often than not I don’t feel like a “grown up”. I’m not even sure that I know what that term really means, but I’m pretty sure I’ve never really felt mature. I’ve become especially aware of this since I had a child and since spending more time with other women / moms. I have so much respect for women that I feel are grown up and behave like I believe people over the age of 35 “should” behave.

I feel like I spend too much time thinking about my appearance, my words, my behaviors; I’m self-conscious about almost everything sometimes. I talk frequently and rapidly. I excite easily. I run the risk of putting my foot in my mouth – whoops. I skip stairs when I go up a floor. Sometimes I’m a bit too, er, “high energy”. I’m too corny. I don’t carry a purse. I prefer sneakers to heels. I tend to wear a messy bun over a well coifed ‘do.

Why It’s Okay For Kids to Misspell

Oct 22, 2014 by

Recently, I came across this article which discusses why spelling tests, and the “spelling test” model of teaching kids how to spell, isn’t as effective as we may think. It reiterated everything I learned when taking one of my favorite courses, “Teaching Writing,” in graduate school. Spelling tests teach memorization; there are over two hundred and fifty thousand words in the English language, and between 10 and 20 words on a typical spelling test…so we’d need a lot of spelling tests to churn out great spellers through rote memorization!

Furthermore, many spelling tests operate on weekly word lists. The students who learn the weekly words move on to the next week’s list, as do the students who only learned half. It would seem that some kids are simply naturally good at spelling, or at least memorization, while others struggle endlessly. Why? Because the English language is basically a complex system of codes and patterns, many borrowed from other languages. Teaching kids these codes and patterns, which are far less numerous than teaching all the individual words themselves, allows kids to learn to spell whole groups of words effectively.

“I Cannot Say Okay Mommy”

Oct 21, 2014 by

Bedtime has come and gone.  Songs have been sung.  Pillows have been fluffed.  Blankets have been tucked in.  Kisses have been placed on foreheads.  The dog has received his last head pat.  Off to dreamland we go.

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Only we forgot something.

“Mommy, what will Monday bring?”

Our dear Sage needs to have a sense of “what’s next?”  It is a regular question in our days, and it helps her organize her world.  Tonight during our nighttime routine we forgot to talk about what tomorrow will bring.  Since last Monday was a day off, she’s not sure.

“You’re right, tomorrow is Monday, and tomorrow is a school day.  Okay?”

“Awwww.  I cannot say okay Mommy.  Good night and sweet dreams.”

My wife and I crack up in the bathroom, “does she have any idea how funny she is?”  “Oh my gosh, so darn cute.”  But then we stumble on the gem, “But honestly, she’s right.  Honey, I have to work tomorrow, and I ‘cannot say okay.'”

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