Standing up for Your Beliefs: the challenge of training your child to be “that” kid

It would have been so easy to give in. He begged me to let him stay home. His blue eyes welled with tears as he told me he couldn't go; he was afraid to go. I cajoled. I begged. I reasoned. I got angry. I empathized. I bribed. Literally, I did whatever it took to get him out the door and, by that time having missed the bus, into my car. We would ride in the car together. We would walk in together. We would visit the counselor and confirm that the school had some type of plan to make … [Read more...]

Celebrating Fifty Years: Love and Luck Endures

Marriage is like a spiderweb. Some are meticulously built in places and ways that withstand all of the elements. Their silky threads delicately wave to and fro through wind and rain, and glisten intricately and ephemerally in the sun. Other webs are begun with the same initiative and dedication, but are instantly dismantled by a human or animal plundering through the woods. I've been thinking a lot about marriages lately. A niece just got married on Saturday. My brother, Tim, exchanged vows … [Read more...]

Monday Meals: Grilled Chicken Salad with Garlic Confit

When you have all the kids home for the summer, dinner time is the biggest buzzkill because it feels like all you've been doing all day is feeding kids. Most nights I can't even think of a protein/veggie/carb combo that is simple and easy and not too involved.  Usually at 5:30 pm I'm  typing words into my web browser like "chicken breast" and praying that something pops up that jolts awake the elusive dinner-fixing muse. Last week the website came through for me with a Grilled … [Read more...]

My Marriage Advice stolen from Annie Lamott: Bird by Bird

Today Scott and I are celebrating our 16th wedding anniversary. I feel like I should write something profound and meaningful about being married for 16 years and having two sets of twins and a surprise. (Yes, it was a surprise because a certain husband was quite sure that we were too old to get pregnant and, like a teenager in the backseat of a steamed-up car, I listened to him.) But we are here at 16 years. Annie Lamott tells this story in her wonderful book on writing and life, Bird … [Read more...]

Guns: Do You Ask Parents if They Have Them?

A few weeks ago our neighborhood had a few cars and a garage broken into and robbed. And, while we've occasionally had incidents like this, I would consider our neighborhood as a very safe place to live. Regardless, any type of robbery has neighbors alert and on edge, and children might suddenly feel like they are no longer safe from crime. This was the case one afternoon a few days after the robbery when one of my sons was at a friend's house. The mom had run to the grocery store and the … [Read more...]

We are Ten Today! But we don’t want to share a birthday party.

We had a busy weekend! On Sunday Luke and Will turned ten years old! Double digits for the duo. The boys decided that after nine years of sharing a birthday party, they wanted to each have their own. I wasn't so crazy about the idea because. . .because honestly, it is just so much easier to have one party than two. I'm big on making sure my identical boys bond as brothers but also feel like they are also individuals, so I agreed. On Thursday Luke decided that he wanted his birthday on … [Read more...]

Do You Let Your Children Fail–and an Apology

First, an apology: Last Thursday I published an unedited post, I.Hate.Projects, that initially went out to my subscribers. It was  a post with substandard language that, while reflecting an extremely frustrating evening (and week) of working on two projects with the boys, was raw with emotion. As a parent, you might have been in that place yourself, but you probably had the insight and self-restraint to contain it. I didn't. And the necessary edits to the post didn't occur until the next … [Read more...]

I.HATE.PROJECTS–Says Every Mother of Multiples

When I was a teacher (seventh and eighth grade language arts) and parents would complain about the amount of homework and how their little darlings had trouble getting it completed what with baseball practice or dance. . .I would somewhat commiserate and then take my 20 something, single, childless self home thinking to myself--Well, parent, what's more important academics or extracurricular? Now I'm a parent. Now I have five children in five different activities every single night of the … [Read more...]

Bullying and the Open Heart

Marc climbed into the car at parent pick up the other day and immediately declared, "I was just bullied." "What?" I asked surprised by his statement because he was just part of the school safety patrol (fourth and fifth graders help teachers match kids with the right parent-vehicles in the drop-off and pick-up lanes at the front of school). While I waited for him and two neighborhood boys, who are part of our carpool, to finish their patrol duty, I watched the teacher in charge dismiss the … [Read more...]

Mostly Multiples Links

We've repacked the Uhaul and we are on our way back to Texas today. This was a picture of us coming to Denver, and I'm sure the picture tomorrow would be similar but with less smiley faces. (The end of a trip is always sad for me!) But I wanted to share some fun things I found on the internet about multiples. Now wouldn't this be a surprise: They were expecting identical twins and delivered identical triplets! An interesting read about life as an identical twin. Do your identical twins … [Read more...]