How to Know If You Have Buns of Steel

I accidentally played Buns of Steel with my 8 year old twins.

FYI, for the uninitiated, Buns of Steel is played in one’s laundry room whilst clad in undies (or skivvies if you’re part of the Under 10 crowd), and the rules are as follows:

1. Clench your butt cheeks as tightly as you can.
2. Get someone to punch your butt – HARD.
3. Have the puncher declare whether you do, in fact, have Buns of Steel. ...  read more

How to Teach Your Kid Effective Communication

I’ve got one kid who’s more susceptible to the stomach flu than the others. I promise you, if it’s going around, and often even if it’s not, this kid will get it at least twice. Often three times. And repeat every other month or so just so he doesn’t forget how. But the good news is, he processes it in less than 24 hours. Every time. So, silver lining! ...  read more

On Getting a Snake (and Possibly New Friends and Family)

I’m so excited to introduce you to Isabelle, the newest member of our family.

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Isabelle is a Kenyan Sand Boa who enjoys snuggling and long walks on the beach. She’s really a darling. Also, she might be a boy, but whatever.

Of course, naming Isabelle proved to be a HUGE challenge. 

Greg wanted to name her “If you even think about putting her in our bedroom, I’m moving out,” and “no, seriously; I’m moving out,” and “of the house,” and “what part of I’m leaving you is hard to understand?” but I thought those were unwieldy names for a baby snake. Greg’s not very good at this. ...  read more

A Christmas Miracle (and Day 4 of 7+ Giveaways)

I slept past my alarm this morning. It strummed the iPhone alarm strum mockingly at me and I hit snooze. And then I hit snooze again. And then I pushed my face deeper into my pillow and yelled, “why? Why? WHY?” and hit snooze again.

It was, in other words, a morning like every other morning.

Except this morning something wonderful happened. Something beautiful! Something miraculous! ...  read more

On the Importance of Using Our Words

“OK, boys. We need to have a chat.”

I sat my twin 1st graders down last night before bedtime for a serious heart-to-heart.

“I know you like to sleep with me,” I said, “and that’s fine. You know, when we all get to SLEEP. Because, to be clear, that’s my number one main goal at night. To SLEEP as much as possible…” ...  read more

To Grandmother’s House We Go

We work hard to teach our kids that gentle criticism, when used correctly, is an important tool to meet one’s needs. We also teach them that stopping at criticism isn’t enough; it’s essential to offer a reasonable solution to a problem. “Identify what’s not working,” we say, “and also tell us how you’re going to fix it.” ...  read more

I’m a Pee Fight Pacifist

Look, I don’t usually take on extreme positions here. I’m just not that kind of girl. I tend to be all mushy and “well, there are two sides to every story” and “I’m sure she had the best intentions” and “there’s room for EVERYONE.” On the other hand, I believed Mr. Clinton when he said he did not have sex with that woman so I admit to a certain ongoing struggle with being a Pollyanna. ...  read more