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Getting to the Heart of Parenting...

1
Why the Arts are Important
2
Why Date Night is Important
3
What Cold Remedies Really Work?
4
The Common Cold: Your Questions Answered
5
What We Need to Know About Cell Phone Etiquette
6
Beware of Hidden Allergens
7
Am I Doing Too Much? How to Help Kids Become More Responsible
8
Once Upon a Delivery Room
9
Excuse Me, Please, Should I Teach My Kids Not to Interrupt?
10
For the Love of Harry Potter

Why the Arts are Important

The C scale wafts through the house from the front room, my son warming up his piano fingers for “When the Saints Go Marching In.”  He provides the background melody for the fiddle piece his brother is working through for a recital.  Then joining in is my daughter, learning the first few measures of Bach’s “Minuet I” on her violin.  It’s a discordant masterpiece.  No dueling pianos here, but rather a solo piano fending off violins attacking from two separate fronts. Whew.  Just another afternoon of music practice. I have long been a lover of the arts, having sacrificed my…

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Why Date Night is Important

  We had to think about it for a moment.  Then we remembered:  it had been four years since my husband and I took a trip together, just the two of us.  How time flies, just like we were, taking an early morning flight to Boston.  It’s not like we haven’t had the occasional “date night” but there’s something about the freedom a couple has when they can do things on their own schedule for more than a few hours at a time. Author Ayelet Waldman (Bad Mother:  a Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamities, and Occasional Moments of Grace, 2009)…

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What Cold Remedies Really Work?

A couple weeks ago, in The Common Cold:  Your Questions Answered, we looked at some of the lesser-known (but widely-wondered) aspects of that pesky triad of runny nose, sore throat and sneezing (etc.).  Now let’s dig in to the burning question: What remedies really work to cure the common cold? Well, the bad news is no medication or remedy cures the common cold. And unfortunately, there are no prospects on the horizon.  But the good news is there are options that help minimize symptoms and give relief while the virus runs its course: For the full gamut of symptoms:  Rest and…

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The Common Cold: Your Questions Answered

It’s morning.  I’m getting ready for school and hear my family in the kitchen.  My husband’s rattling cough, punctuated by wall-shaking sneezes, echoes through the house.  My daughter harmonizes with a wheezy, low melody.  My older son, who normally sneezes three times in a row on a good day, seems determined to break the world’s record for ah-choos in rapid succession.  And my younger son?  Still out “cold” and I’m just letting him sleep.  As for me, I’m dragging and achy and my throat is sore.  I don’t have the sonorous coughing or sneezing like the rest of my family…

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What We Need to Know About Cell Phone Etiquette

  There’s an episode of the sitcom New Girl where lovably pedantic Schmidt pulls out his ringing mobile.  Incredulous, he says, “What?  My phone hasn’t rung in two years!” There’s plenty of truth in that one-liner.   We have Skype.  We have FaceTime.  And the too-convenient ability to text message.  Really, who talks on the phone anymore?  Mobile phones are hardly the simple chatting devices of ages past; they are fun-sized, portable computer devices, a far cry from the spring-tethered rotary dial model and the cordless version my family used to lose under the couch cushions.  We communicate so differently…

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Beware of Hidden Allergens

Remember Snackwells?  The near-miracle treat that contains no fat?  Back when we were told that fat, any fat, in our diets would surely lead to our artery-clogging demise, these cookies were a godsend to those of us with a raging sweet tooth.  And I remember my indulgence, eating almost a whole box of the devil’s food variety, proudly avoiding an eminent heart attack by eating dessert so wisely. But now, times have changed and the “devil” in the name of those (let’s face it) tasteless, half-dessicated cookies has an updated meaning.  Most of the calories come from sugar (satanic carbs!) and…

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Am I Doing Too Much? How to Help Kids Become More Responsible

  One morning last fall, I just had to walk away.  Homeschooling was not going well, specifically grammar, and I had to just take a break.  No, we all needed a break.  It was a Monday, my daughter was coming off her 10th birthday celebration, and we were in a sprint down Letdown Lane. Ok, I’ll admit it.  I didn’t just walk away.  I went and hid in my bedroom. Before I retreated, I gave my kids their science books and asked them to read.  I honestly didn’t think they’d do it (they did admit to playing Minecraft on my…

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Once Upon a Delivery Room

  It was a dark and stormy night.  I was being a real handful, angrily quizzing my husband about exactly where the on-call anesthesiologist lived, and how long it would take him to get to the hospital to give me my epidural ALREADY!  And how much, to the minute, he would be slowed down by the nasty February weather. My poor husband. It really was a dark and stormy night.  When we tell our boys the story of their arrival, we get to indulge in a little drama.  It was well into the evening, and a nasty sleet-snow was falling…

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Excuse Me, Please, Should I Teach My Kids Not to Interrupt?

  I spin it in a positive light:  my kids interrupt because they want my husband’s and my attention.  As my kids are 10 and nearly 12, I know this desire to share with us is limited.  The problem is, it’s universally accepted that interrupting a conversation is rude.  My kids know that, but they’re kids.  Even though it can be exhausting to navigate, I’d rather my kids be verbal in their interruptions than be stealthy about it, as when they were toddlers.  I remember one particular instance when I was pregnant with my daughter and my one-and-a-half-year old twins…

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For the Love of Harry Potter

  Oh my gosh, it’s so good. I mean, really good. So good, in fact, I want to lock myself in the bedroom and ignore everything but the book until I finish it.  But then, what kind of mother would I be?  Can I argue that a good mother gets on board with her kids’ obsessions as long as she reminds them where the peanut butter is? No, of course not, but I’m coming to realize why my kids are totally taken with all things Harry Potter.  And J.K. Rowling herself.  My daughter, who did a report on this most-famous…

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