Category Archives: Parenting

Kids TV Shows…Am I A Hypocrite?

My boys’ new favorite show is Survivorman on the Discovery channel.

We are generally pretty picky about what we let our boys watch. We don’t watch Spongebob. We don’t watch those dumb teenager comedies. I just don’t feel like my young boys need to get caught up in shows about boyfriends and girlfriends and all that drama. I also don’t want them thinking that is how life and relationships actually work. When they are a little bit older and able to distinguish between real life and drama meant for tv, then we’ll revisit that genre of shows.

Or not.

As for Spongebob and the like…

Just. No.

But then I stopped and wondered if letting them watch Suriviorman where I knew there might be a swear word thrown in here and there made me a hypocrite?  I thought about it and decided that no, it would not! Or maybe it does and I just don’t care. You want to know why? I’m glad you asked!

Because I would rather my kids be the kind of people who say OH SH*T when something scary or startling happens than to be the kind of people who call others stupid and idiots when they don’t agree with them or think they have made a mistake in some way. I would rather them learn about surviving in a dessert and eating snake brains than watching two diva disney stars kiss while the audience ooooohhhhs. Does that make me crazy? Maybe.

Don’t worry though, if you let your kids watch those other kinds of shows, I will not judge you. I might think “Oh sh*t you let your kids watch what?!” But I will never call you can idiot.

That would just be mean.

Why I Over-Share

Today I share about why I over-share over on Burlington Vermont Moms Blog. I like sharing. Sharing is caring. Mostly.

Why I Over-Share

Let me know where I can follow you and see all of your over-sharing!

Remembering The Hungry In A Time of Feasting

There are so many who will go without a large feast this Holiday season. Today, I’m talking about what we did as a family to do our part to end world hunger. I mention an organization that deserves your support and some ideas for your family too!

Remembering The Hungry In A Time of Feasting

Parenting Do-Overs – Yes! That’s A Thing!

Ever feel like you need a parenting do-over? I talk about what you can do to step forward into being the kind of parent you can be proud of over at Burlington Vermont Moms Blog today.


Last week’s letter home from my second grader’s teacher mentioned that they were learning about respect. I asked Charlie about it. He said they watched a video on you tube. I  like to keep a connection between what’s happening at school with our lives at home, so we looked it up and watched it together as a family. I was pleasantly surprised! The video is so adorable and the words are a perfect way to talk to kids about what respect means!

As the days went on and the boys started arguing and fighting, I started singing the song out loud. Just randomly.

Charlie replies, “I regret telling you about that song.”

I thought I’d share it with you so you can watch it with your kids and make them regret it too! You’re welcome, kids!

Oh, and I apologize, the chorus is going to be stuck in your head for the rest of the week.

A Picture Day Miracle

Charlie put on jeans and a button up shirt for picture day on his own. Like, he decided to wear it.

Yes, this is a monumental moment. Since this day years ago, what Charlie wears has always been one of those parenting struggles I avoid at all cost.

He came down the stairs and I was shocked. You know how you don’t want to startle a squirrel? So you just stand there and pretend you don’t see it while looking out of the corner of your eye? Don’t move, don’t say anything, don’t frighten him away lest he scurry back upstairs and change into sweat pants and a mismatched t-shirt.

I just stood there. “Good morning.” Not too cheery, not to mundane. Just right. You see, if he thinks I’m too cheery, he will know that I noticed his attire. If I say it too mundane, he will think I didn’t notice at all.

Walk on egg shells, much?

“Is this ok for picture day?!” he asked proudly. This was my invitation to encourage him on his good choice. The wind was blowing in just the right direction. “I think that’s an excellent choice! I love it!” I reply with a smile.

“I thought you would.” he says, rather smugly, but with a smirk.

WAIT. He thought of me? He thought about what I might want him to wear on picture day? What is this thing? What is happening?

My well-dressed-child-without-a fight dreams are coming true. But I won’t hold my breath. Next weekend we have a family wedding to attend. And God only knows which direction the wind will be blowing on that day.

For now, I’ll give my adorably dressed squirrel a hug before he scurries away. Or bites me.

And no, I do not have a picture. Are you kidding me? Rule number one around skiddish squirrels on picture day, no flash photography. Does that sentence even make sense? Of course not. Parenting rarely does.

Riding The Bus – A Love & Logic Lesson

We have had a bit of a problem over the summer with the boys fighting in the van. Anytime we drive anywhere, there is a fight. We have rearranged seats, had consequences, and I have pulled over more times than I care to remember. So when the first two mornings back to school consisted of fighting during the drive, that was it, I was not putting up with it anymore.

I have always driven the kids to school in the morning because it gives us a little more time in the mornings. We don’t have to get up quite so early, things are less rushed. But by golly, I will get up at the crack of dawn if it means I can teach them a lesson. I’m a good Mom that way. 🙂 Now that the boys are older they are pretty much getting ready on their own. They make their own lunches and dress themselves. So I knew they could handle getting ready for the bus without it becoming a problem for me.

So last night I told the boys it was time for bed. “But, Mom, it’s 15 minutes early!” I responded that we were going to have to get up a little earlier than usual so they would need to go to bed a little earlier than  usual too. And then they asked why and my Love and Logic empathy had a chance to do it’s thing…

“Well, it kind of too bad.” When my kids hear this, they know something they won’t like is coming. “When kids fight in the van on the way to school, I get way too drained. So you guys are going to start riding the bus to school in the mornings! I checked with the bus driver and she will be here at 7:20 am. I am going to set my alarm a little earlier than normal. Maybe you should too.” WHAT?! They were stunned and dismayed. I started hearing the “its not my faults” and “well if he didn’t touch me” arguments. I just sighed and said, “Off to bed now, we have an early morning!” And so they did.

Morning came and I knew at least one of them would attempt the “oops I missed the bus” scenario. So when it was looking like Charlie wasn’t going to make it in time I said, “Oh that’s ok. I’ll just take you. I charge $3 for a drive to school. Would you like to pay me now or later?” And he he just rolled his eyes and ran to the bus.

Ahhhh, I love this Love and Logic Parenting stuff. It sure feels good to take care of myself and teach those boys a lesson. It’s even more fun when they learn more than one!

Have you taught your kids any good lessons lately? Do yourself a favor and put your foot down! The best parents are the ones that take care of themselves! My morning was filled with coffee drinking on the front steps instead of refereeing back seat fights. I’ll take it!

What Parenting with Love and Logic Looks Like

Parenting through this crazy housing situation we have been through has been hard. We’ve tried to be consistent as possible but when your kids don’t even have a bedroom to be sent to, it can be tough.

I have had these tidbits from a Love and Logic email saved for a long time. I like to look back at them now and then to remind myself what my parenting should look like. I thought I’d share them with you and give myself another refresher as well!

The “Love and Logic” approach should always look like the following:
  • A loving attitude toward the young person. A key principle of the Love and Logic approach is that we preserve the dignity – of the child AND the adult. Does yelling and threatening preserve kids’ dignity? How about ours?
  • Shared thinking and control. Adults using Love and Logic techniques resist the urge to come up with all the answers and solve all the problems. Instead, they give kids the gift of thinking about and solving problems. They ask lots of questions and give lots of choices so kids stay in on the action.
  • Empathy before consequences and bad news. We are sad for kids and we hurt for them when they struggle. Our sadness (instead of our anger and frustration) helps them own problems and learn from the consequences. None of this works without empathy.
  • Relationships are paramount. If we are not preserving or enhancing relationships, we are not really using Love and Logic techniques.

Aahhhh, I feel more in control already! Sometimes we just need a reminder, right?

For more parenting resources and advice, visit

*Not a sponsored post! 

Higher Ground – A Children’s Book To Benefit The Vermont Farm Disaster Relief Fund

When Irene ripped through the East Coast we were fairly new to Vermont. I was shocked to see the devastation that a hurricane turned tropical storm could cause so far up here! There was news of flooding that wiped away entire homes. Many families lost everything. While we were not affected immediately, there was definitely an urge inside me to do something to help. I volunteered with Vermont 211 to take phone calls and record storm damage. It was something small, but I felt like I helped in some way. When a friend of mine told me about a book he wrote to raise money for farms affected by the storm, I knew I wanted to share it with you. It’s just another small way I (and you!) can help.

I asked Kevin Fitton, the author, to tell me about the book and here is what he shared with me:

The idea behind the book came from a story I heard on Vermont Public Radio about a week after Hurricane Irene swept through Vermont. The reporter (who is actually our neighbor, Melody Bodette) told about a farm in Royalton which lost a half dozen of their cows when the White River surged over its banks. This story planted a seed in my mind, and I soon had an idea for a book about a farm like the one in Royalton. In my story, the storm damages the farm and some of the cows are lost, but their neighbors come to their aid and help them rebuild. Since the book was about neighbors helping neighbors, I wondered if I could recruit a Vermont artist and Vermont publisher to do the book with me and use the book as a fundraiser for farms like the one in the news story. So I took a complete shot in the dark and emailed my manuscript to my favorite children’s book illustrator, Mary Azarian, who happens to live in Vermont (and who I had never met, mind you). And shock of all shocks, she wrote me back and said she would read it. And then, after she read it, she said she would like to be involved if I could find a publisher. So I then contacted Radiant Hen, which is a small Vermont publisher of children’s books, and within a few days, they expressed interest in the project. And then both Mary and Tanya (the editor at Radiant Hen) agreed to donate their time to make the book happen.

Neighbors helping neighbors! I love it! And what a great lesson to teach our kids!

Here is a blurb about the book as shared on Radiant Hen’s website:

When a Hurricane strikes and causes disastrous flooding, the humans aren’t the only ones who need to seek higher ground! A story of kindness, love and inner strength that is sure to become an instant classic.
An Excerpt from the book:

“Now, unless you’re a dairy farmer this may be hard to understand, but those cows are part of our family. We feed them, and by giving us their milk, they feed us too…”

Now here’s how you can help!

The book, Higher Ground, is available for pre-order from I’d love to see them sell out of the books they have prepared for pre-printing! 

100% of the proceeds of the purchase of this book will go directly to The Vermont Farm Disaster Relief Fund. The price is $10.95 plus shipping (a steal when it comes to buying a children’s book!).

Please join me in supporting some of our most important community members, our farmers! Like the bumper sticker says, “If you ate today, thank a farmer!”

*Not a sponsored post! Kevin is a personal friend of mine. As are many farmers! 🙂

Breathing It In

I’m taking a nap with my sick little guy. I’m trying to breathe in this moment. 

The window is open. The birds are singing. There is a slight breeze rustling the trees. He breathes deeply. In and out. In and out. A slight snore catches his breath every now and then. 

He smells like home. Even though we do not have a place to call our own, this is home to me. Where I can be next to my loves. I breathe in his scent deep into my memory. 

“Remember this moment,” the birds sing to me. “Remember it always.”

*I took this picture using Instagram a while back and I wanted to share what I wrote here and expand on it a bit. Mostly because I know this is a safe place to keep my thoughts. And also because I thought some of you might relate.