Surviving a Sick Day at Home with Your Kids

Ah, fall. The air is crisp, the leaves have turned a glorious hue — and the scourge of school germs is wreaking havoc on households everywhere.

It’s not even Thanksgiving, and my first grader and preschooler have already logged several sick days at home with mama. Even when my kids are too ill for school, they somehow still have enough spunk to whine constantly that they’re bored, taking occasional breaks to bicker with each other over toys that neither has played with in years.… Read More

Five Things That Happen When You’re in the Bathroom

Once you become a parent, a simple visit to the bathroom by yourself can be a memorable and even philosophical experience. As the summer winds down, here are some of the things I’ve noticed during this special “me” time:

1. You see the overflowing laundry baskets.
Okay, technically this happens on the way to the bathroom, possibly after I nearly kill myself stumbling over a rogue Lego or one of those blasted Magic Clip dolls.… Read More

My First Duathlon: Reawakening the Past

Rocking the bike segment of the triathlon. Summer 2008.

One sweet summer before I became a mom, I completed two sprint triathlons. The first, a lovely event in Corvallis, Oregon, included a 750-meter pool swim, an 11-mile bike ride in the countryside, and 5K run. Admittedly, I did cheat on the run segment (by accident, I swear – I took a wrong turn that caused me to skip the last half of the route!), but the event was still a great experience that I fully enjoyed.… Read More

Small Size, Big Mealtime Battles

My youngest daughter turned four this March, a fact that surprises most people when they see her for the first time. At 26 pounds and just over 35 inches, Lily still fits in clothes that would be snug on the average two-year-old. Toddlers tower over her, and her legs barely reach the pedals of the tricycle that our kindergartener outgrew years ago.

Let’s be realistic: I’m only 5 feet 2 inches myself, and my husband is no giant.… Read More

Dreaming of Spring

As I type this, I’m sitting on the floor of my bedroom, glancing up every so often to see if my gently snoring four-year-old is stirring. Normally Lily is a peaceful sleeper, but she’s been battling a nasty cough for the past few days. This morning, she woke up with a new symptom. “My tummy really hurts,” she whispered, tears in her eyes, before drifting back to sleep. Though the dreaded stomach bug has been the hot topic of conversation at school and in playgroups lately, I’m hoping my daughter can still escape it.… Read More

Growing Up

For Christmas break this year, my husband, our two daughters and I visited our families on the West Coast. Whenever I return to my hometown, a suburb south of San Francisco, I’m always struck by how much smaller the playgrounds, houses and streets are in reality compared to my recollection. To my childhood eyes, the park was enormous, featuring a sloping hill dotted with trees and a towering half-shell where summer bands played.… Read More

Don’t Borrow Trouble

“Don’t borrow trouble.” It’s a phrase I remember my mom uttering 12 years ago, when I called her in a panic after discovering a lump in my right breast. It was the summer of 2002 in Boston. Kevin and I were newly engaged and living in a condo in a charming, quiet Brookline neighborhood. After he’d proposed in July, we’d rapidly transitioned our jobs, grabbed the first decent apartment we could find, and merged our belongings from our respective residences in Illinois and California.… Read More

The Kindergarten Honeymoon is Over

During her first week of kindergarten, our oldest daughter radiated excitement and energy. Having heard at preschool that we should expect our kindergartener to fall asleep at dinner for at least the first two weeks, I was impressed that my child showed no such weariness with her new routine. On the contrary, she possessed more spunk than a teenager who’d just slept 14 straight hours and then consumed a Starbucks venti coffee while skydiving.… Read More

The Start of Letting Go



At some point before my oldest child’s second birthday, I had a conversation with another weary mom that ended with this punchline: “The days are long, but the years are short.”

The full meaning of this saying struck me this week, as we prepared to send Julia to full-day kindergarten at our local elementary school. Since becoming a parent a little over five years ago, I’ve experienced plenty of days when the hours seemed to drag by, each minute of the dreary afternoon reverberating in my bones.… Read More