Don’t Go it Alone (The Creation of Project Bond – For Adoptive Families)

by Barbara DiGangi and Meredith Silversmith

Project BondIf your child has challenging behavior, where do you turn?  Typically, we look to professionals at school or in the community.  You might start with an evaluation, enroll your child in a program, or even qualify for in-home services, depending upon where you live.

But, what happens when the professionals don’t help?  When they think they know what to do, but are actually making things worse?  What if what works for some kids doesn’t work for yours?

That’s what Barbara and I asked ourselves.  Every day.  For four years. [Read More…]

Vampires (Halloween, That Is…)

by Maggie Lamond Simone


When my kids were younger, Halloween brought out their desires. Whether the costumes represented a superhero, a butterfly, or a Star Wars character, they typically chose embodiments that might not be quite possible in real life . . . and which made them all the more desirable.


It’s actually no different than adults. We often choose costumes that are completely different than our real selves, yet which just might – maybe, possibly – reflect a hidden desire. When the husband wears a mask to hand out candy, he often gravitates to former presidents or the devil … which, yes, now concerns me. [Read More…]

By |October 31st, 2014|Categories: Commentary, Daily Living|Tags: , , |0 Comments

In Defense of Halloween…

by Aviva Luria

pumpkin IIYears ago, I read an essay by a reform rabbi explaining why she didn’t allow her children to celebrate Halloween. It’s not a Jewish holiday, she said and, in addition, she abhorred the stereotypical images of women and girls as witches and bunnies and princesses.

I wanted to admire her integrity and determination in the face of societal pressure to celebrate a holiday she had issues with, but I couldn’t help but feel only sympathy for her kids. We go to the movies that day, she said in the article, and no one else is there. It’s wonderful.

Later, when I had a child of my own in daycare, another kid’s dad told me, “We don’t celebrate Halloween. We’re Christian.”

Wow. Halloween gets it from all sides, doesn’t it? [Read More…]

My Many Holiday Thoughts….

by Marc Parsont

vampiresIt’s difficult for me admit, but I’ve been taking my kids chocolate from their plastic pumpkins.  I wish I could say it’s only a few pieces, but it’s not.  I’m like a Viking raider plundering and pillaging.  At least I was until my wife caught me.

Then both she and the nanny hid the kids candy.  I found it.  They caught me again and this time they threw the candy away, but not before I squirreled away a piece or two for a rainy day.  I tell you this as a precursor and cautionary tale about my other favorite holiday, Thanksgiving. [Read More…]

By |October 28th, 2014|Categories: Career & Professionalism, Commentary, Midlife Foibles!|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Raising My Child on Pennies a Day

by Nicholas D'Ambra



They are a nuisance.  They are in my sock drawer, the floor of my car, everywhere in my desk, in the little crack of the door jam where the floor and the threshold don’t quite meet, EVERYWHERE!

Inevitably, when I reach for meter money in the car I always end up with handfuls of them, most often concealing a much needed dime in the palm of my hand. They are…Ugh! PENNIES!!! [Read More…]

By |October 26th, 2014|Categories: Commentary, Daily Living, Gay Fathers|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

My Letter To Ryan

by Jo-Ann Rogan

Jo-Ann Rogan's son IIDearest Ryan,

I have been writing you letters on your birthday since you were four years old. Wish I thought to do this when you were younger.  This year was about you blossoming.

You have grown so much this year. In early June you were on the tall side but had a little kid look to you with a roundness.  Suddenly in July you were what seems like four inches taller, broad shouldered, and had a decidedly young-man-look.  Your face is changing and you are wearing men’s sized clothing and shoes.  You have become a strong young man. You often volunteer to carry heavy things for me.

You started this summer as a little boy.  In July, your rapid growth had your brain chemistry thrown off and your behavior was hard to manage and you were just hard to reach.  August brought a new found calm.  When your Dad was away working on his big project you stepped in to be my right hand man.  Often when Aaron was melting down you were the one to take the higher road in your arguments. I was so thankful for your calm head. I enjoyed the time we had together in August and I adored our “summer bucket list,” which was a list of things we wanted to do this summer.  Last week, we crossed everything off the list with the time we spent at the beach. [Read More…]

Too Much Post-Halloween Candy? Never Fear, The Great Pumpkin Is Here!

by Melanie Elliott

Melanie Elliott Halloween IIIOur first Halloween with The Littlest E was easy breezy. He was 15 months old and didn’t really know or care about pumpkins, costumes, going trick-or-treating, or eating candy.  We stayed home that year and answered the door whenever the bell rang.

For the past few years some friends of ours whose son is The Littlest E’s age, have held a Halloween potluck.  They live in a great kid-friendly neighborhood with lots of children going door-to-door.  We starting going to their house when The Littlest E was a little over 2 years old.  That first year attending their party, we lasted 10 minutes trick-or-treating.  Our little guy was too scared of adults in costume and he didn’t even like being in his own costume.  It was all a bit too much for him. [Read More…]

Autumn Breathes

by Lori Pelikan Strobel

Lori Pelikan Strobel's barn

Colored magic and crisp whiffs whirl over wooded pastures

Summer sighs

Autumn inhales

Coolness dawns while Fall tumbles into me.


By |October 21st, 2014|Categories: Commentary, Daily Living|Tags: , , |0 Comments

7 Tips – National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

by Rosemary Lichtman, Ph.D. and Phyllis Goldberg, Ph.D.

For over 25 years, October has been designated National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. You’ll find races to run that raise funds for research. Stores will be selling everything from mixmasters to ipods in pink.

In fact, pink ribbons will be virtually everywhere. What does this focus on early detection and recovery mean to you?

If you are over 40, have regular screening mammograms and perform monthly breast self-exams. And see your physician for an annual breast exam and consultation about risk factors and additional diagnostic steps to take, such as MRI. With early detection, most breast cancers now can be successfully treated.

There are between 2 and 3 million American women living today who have survived breast cancer and are thriving. Yet, as many survivors have learned, the process of coping with any serious illness can take its toll – emotionally and physically. [Read More…]

The Perimenopausal Double Whammy

by Melanie Elliott

I became a mom, through adoption, at the age of 45.  I’ve been a mom now for a little over 4 years, which means I’m pushing 50.

Yikes and Yay!

I love being this age, even though I have a few more cricks and creaks in my body.  For the most part, I have a pretty level head, am grounded and comfortable in my skin.  Life is good with no major complaints.  There’s a bit more stress in my everyday world because we recently rescued a lovely dog, Pepper, so we’re all adjusting to the furry addition in our lives.  And, there’s an added layer of, well let me call it mishegas (Yiddish for crazy), in life due to entering the world of perimenopause. [Read More…]

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