Birth Order is Real

I have two sets of children. The first set, a girl and a boy, were carefully planned, exactly 2 years apart. The second set, not so much. We wanted a third child, but gave up after years of heartbreak. Months later, it somehow happened, and then it split in half. This brought identical twins to me at age 41, my total number of children to four, and my brain to oatmeal.  I now have four amazing children spanning two generations. This age gap creates all sorts of fun, but it’s also required me to become very creative in my...

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It Worked!

A couple of months ago, I decided to have a conversation with my son about “the internet.” I didn’t want to make it too intense, but he’s seven–almost eight, and he has his own tablet. He also goes to play dates at friend’s houses. So, as much as I want to have complete parental control over all electronics, there is outside influence and his own curiosity to compete with. As I began my “age-appropriate” conversation with my son, I asked him if he had seen his dad play video games where you talk to other people. I explained that there are various computer programs and video games just like that, where you can communicate with other people. And, while the majority of these people will be kids his own age, I cautioned that, just like in real life, some people aren’t good people. So, even though it might seem like you know the person you’re playing a video game with and typing to online, you actually don’t, and so, if they ask you for your phone number or your address…SCREECH. It was at that moment when I realized, I don’t think my son knows his address. And, we don’t have a landline, so he definitely doesn’t know any phone numbers. “Donnie, do you know our address?” “No.” “Oh, my goodness, and you don’t know my phone number either, do you?” Internet conversation on...

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FOMO, No Mo’!

I have tried, with some success, to incorporate the typical basics when it comes to self-care into my life. Admittedly, I can always do better job of moving my needs up the priority spectrum.  The room for improvement is directly linked to my lack of time.  It’s not that I want to neglect myself.  But those hours in a day – they tend to slip right through my fingers. That, my friends, is changing.  I recently found that I have more time for ME. I am so excited to share my little trick with you: I say no. I...

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Giving up on the old me

Last weekend, I cleaned out my closet.  I am a person who definitely revels in getting rid of things, and at the end of a purge like that one, there is usually a nice empty spot left over.  Not this time.  At 13 months postpartum, I have two wardrobes now – one for me and one for my body.  Shoved into the corners are all those clothes that I used to wear.  All my faves that are associated with fun, old-timey memories when I was cute and young and didn’t mind hand washing or dry cleaning.  Front and center...

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“And Now for Something Completely Different”: Working Moms In the Age of Online Entrepreneurship

Big, big changes are happening in the Dunn household this spring. It’s best not to dump those details here, but the essential points are: (1) I’m going to be severely limited in my ability to work with my special education law clients this year, but (2) there’s a burgeoning business opportunity I will be able to harness this summer if I play my cards right. As you might have guessed from the title of this post, the key is to shift my time and energy away from in-person interactions to online communication. But just as importantly, I need to move away from work that requires active case management, and toward projects that are more short-term, focused on products rather than service delivery, and involve more automation and routine than the unwieldy world of special education law and advocacy. That’s right.  In 2017, I’ll be ramping up my fashion resale hobby into a real business, while scaling back on lawyering. The circumstances that heralded this change are not new ones. Parents in the post-industrial age, and mothers in particular, have consistently struggled to delineate and refine their roles and responsibilities as the needs of their families evolve throughout the various stages of childhood/parenthood. That’s why we have entire blogs like this one, which over time have transmogrified vague musings like “having it all” and “work-life balance” into the familiar, endless bleating we now hear...

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Triangles Everywhere

A common inquiry in “only child” Facebook groups is about where other members are from, as lonely posters hope to make a local connection with the same family dynamic. I know well that it can seem as if every other family out there is a four-or more, as I was once in the same spot. But as my own outlook changed and I began to appreciate the triangle that is our family, not only did I start to see the less positive aspects of “squares,” I also began seeing lots of other triangles. And now, a few years later,...

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As a mom, sometimes you HAVE to come FIRST

I’m going to preface this by saying I hate to run. I find nothing relaxing about it and in fact find it to be more of a chore than anything else. But I have goals and somehow (much to my dismay) running plays a part in the end goal. Let me explain. In 2014 a group of friends and I decided that for some reason it would be “fun” to run Rugged Maniac (a 5k, 26 obstacle course). I have no idea WHY we thought it would be fun and some days I think we still need our heads checked (especially as we were seeing the injured walking out as we’re walking in about to start the course!). Sure, I’ve never run a 5k so why not add obstacles to the course?! We “kind of” trained – mainly hitting the track and working up to intervals of running. We were so NOT prepared for that course. But had a blast anyway. What made it such a great accomplishment for me wasn’t just the fact that it was a 5k. It was the fact that I pushed myself WAAAAAAAAAAAY out of my comfort zone and climbed up walls (did I mention I am terrified of heights?), jumped over fire, crawled under barbed wire – IN MUD!, etc. Fast forward to 2015 and add in a few more (non-obstacle course) 5k’s...

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Five Things I Love About Winter

My last post focused on why winter is simply not for me. I actually used the word “hate”…in the title.  You can read it here if you need a reminder of how awful this season is for me. Luckily many friends of mine read my miserable post and offered up some good ways to get through the season and some reminded me that there are a few things about winter that aren’t so bad. Today is Valentine’s Day and while I wish it were Easter Day…or Memorial Day…at least it’s a day, stuck in the middle of this cold,...

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Doing this motherhood thing all wrong

I used to wonder how two siblings who grew up in the same household with the same parents could experience their childhood so differently … until I gave birth to my youngest son, Dominic. Although he joined our family only two and half years after my oldest was born, I was quickly struck by what a different mother I was to him. You see, with my first, I did everything “right.” I always dressed him in the cutest matching outfits.  I knew everything that happened to him.  I followed all of the advice from parenting books.  There was no...

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A Toddler Mom’s Snow Day

I am a teacher which means in the winter I often get the luxury of snow delays, dismissals and the ever-popular snow day. This winter we got away with mostly delays and only two snow days (a true miracle) and I am looking forward to an early summer. But, you know, it’s hard not to get excited when you get a text in the morning that says, No School Today. Even though I am in my thirties, I still get that snow day excitement of hot chocolate and extra tv and sleep. That is until I realize that I...

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