Monday, September 29, 2008


Parting is such sweet sorrow. Well, it is for my kids that is. My two girls have a hard time saying goodbye when it comes to play dates. Rarely do we have an easy goodbye. What we do get is a lot of crying and protesting. Sound familiar to anyone else?

It's a familiar story for Patsy Spanos. She is the mother of 2 1/2 year old twins and a 5 year old boy. She says she noticed things were not going smoothly when she put her oldest son in daycare ahead of the arrival of the twins. “From the very start his reaction was out of the normal range. I am talking about crying and screaming at the top of his lungs not for a little while but until his little lungs couldn't provide him the ability to go any longer.” says Spanos. He gets very attached with his friends and teachers and struggles when they leave or he leaves the classroom or play date.

Play-dates are king it seems these days. What kid would be without a few play-dates on their social calendar? We parents spend a lot of time making sure our children have friends and play dates but how much time do we take to teach our kids how to be good friends and have good play-dates. Parenting expert and author, Alyson Schafer says “like anything else I would treat it like a power struggle, I would treat it as a discipline issue that you need to train around” Schafer says it’s important to set out the ground rules early.

Spanos says communication is key for her. “Talking through the scenario and not being hard on him and taking baby steps in every situation helps.”, says Spanos.

Schafer stresses that you don't have to brilliant in the moment. You just have to offer choice. Schafer says marking play dates on a calendar is important. If children it’s on the calendar then it’s something to look forward to. Schafer also recommends weekly family meetings, giving everyone a chance to have a say in the planning.

More tips for a successful play-date
1. Give the other parent plenty of notice. This falls in line with Alyson Schafer’s recommendation to put play-dates on the calendar. Planning is a good idea.
2. Choose a mutually agreeable location.
3. Impose a time limit ahead of time. This step ensures that everyone knows what’s expected.
4. Set rules and make sure all children involved understand them.
5. Step aside and let the kids play. A hovering parent can add an unnatural element to children’s play and make everybody uncomfortable.
Patsy Spanos now blogs about the trials and tribulations of parenting at . You can get more parenting tips from Alyson Schafer at her website,
You and see the full article at

Monday, September 22, 2008


My little "M" said the cutest thing to me the other day.

First, something you should know, I have freckles. Lots of freckles and they are literally everywhere.

I was about to get into the shower the other day and "M" said to me, "Mom, are you washing off your spots?" I laughed. I had to explain to her that my spots don't come off.

It got me thinking though. I spent so many years growing up hating my freckles. It's hard to be different as a child. I did everything I could think of to cover them up. Now I am glad I have freckles. They do make me different and they keep me looking young-ish, even when I feel really old.

I realize how important it is to teach children to embrace themselves as they are and what makes them different. I hope I can teach my girls to love themselves as they are.

Friday, September 5, 2008


I feel like I am not posting as often as I would like to these days. I must admit my broken laptop is having a real affect on the work I am producing. (Refer to previous post to read about what happened to my laptop.)

It is just not as easy to write and post pictures when I can't be near the kids. My husband and our friend were kind enough to set up a computer in our third floor office but it's just not the same. I can't work in the office for longer than five minutes at a time because the kids insist on screaming for me from the far reaches of the house when I am not is their direct line of sight.
Anyone else have the same problem being productive when kids are around?

I apologize for not keeping the blog as up-to-date as I should. I hope to be able to put up more pictures soon. I am looking to order a new screen soon and hope to have the laptop repaired very soon.

I must admit I never really realized how much I love being able to work where ever I want...or need.