Ready for College? (Six Ways to Support and Prepare Your Child)

by KnowsyMoms

 knowsymoms

If you’ve got a teenager, then you know how baffling and beautiful they are at this tender age. You’re probably wondering how you will make it through this challenging time, and may even have concerns about whether they will ever be ready to go to college. After all, wasn’t it just yesterday that you were stressing out about whether they would ever be potty trained? As difficult as it is to fathom, the reality is that your kid will be heading off to college before you know it.

While academics are obviously important, there’s a lot about going to college that has nothing to do with school work: moving away from home, adjusting to a new environment, making healthy choices, self-advocating, managing stress, and balancing school and fun–just to name a few! [Read More…]

Vacations Aren’t for the Weak at Heart

by Marc Parsont

The fact that I don’t have Type 2 Diabetes comes as a shock to every medical practitioner I see.  I’m just coming down from the sugar high I had last night at Rehobeth Beach, Delaware.

They had a bonfire at the beach where they provided marshmallows for children to roast or as it appeared to me, flame them down to a charred, black tar suitable only for sliming back into the primordial ooze. [Read More…]

By |August 17th, 2014|Categories: Commentary, Daily Living, Midlife Foibles!|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Seven Tips for Navigating the Adoption Process

by Michelle Eisler

adoption

Imagine putting your most treasured desire into the hands of a stranger. Someone you have neither met or seen, with the understanding that days, weeks and months may pass before you hear from them.  You are constantly battling the urge to email them to see if your dream is any closer to coming true, but it’s all you can think about.

Building your family through adoption is a matter of trusting in the unknown. Whether you are a waiting parent, hoping to be selected by a potential birth mother or planning to adopt internationally, there is no easy way to make this a reality. Below is a list of suggestions on how to feel like you are making informed choices. [Read More…]

By |August 13th, 2014|Categories: Adoption, Commentary, Daily Living, Mothers Over 40|Tags: , |0 Comments

How to Make a Good Marriage Better

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

ringsYou know what they say if something is moving along without any major hurdles – ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’ But your marriage may not yet have reached its full potential. Believe it or not, you can change boring routines and improve your relationship.

According to the field of interpersonal neurobiology, our brains are constantly changing. And that is impacted by how we interact daily. Loving relationships can alter the brain circuits that shape memories and emotions. [Read More…]

By |August 11th, 2014|Categories: Daily Living, Fostering/Guardianship|Tags: , , |5 Comments

Excerpts from The Zen of Midlife Mothering – John Simmons

John M. Simmons ZenShould We Take the Only Thing They Have Left?

                                                          By John Simmons

Perhaps we should. My wife and I decided that it was the right thing to change our children’s names as we adopted them. This happened across the board, from Jack, who was only a month old when he joined our family, clear up to Emily who was fifteen.

That really upsets some people. My kids? Not so much. Recently a mom-blogger voiced her disagreement and so I decided to find out what my adopted children really thought. We had never talked about it before.

Whether or not I understand how it feels to have my name changed, my children do.  (My eighteen-year-old with Down syndrome could have been asked the question many times and would have provided contradictory answers, so I’ll leave him out of this particular story.) The children I questioned range in ages from twenty-two, down to nine. Four of the five said they preferred getting a new name. The youngest, my nine-year-old son, said, “I wish I still had my Russian name, but it’s okay….

Each of our five children from Russia bear the names of ancestors of either Amy or me, who left their native lands and migrated to the United States. We have used the stories of those ancestors to show our children that they are not the only ones in our family who left native lands behind. We teach them that emigration is never easy, but that with hard work, it can be worth it. Our children know that our reasons for changing their names were based on love, and wanting [Read More…]

By |August 8th, 2014|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: |0 Comments

The Bridge Years

by Austin Wimberly

growing olderWhen I was in my thirties, I remember some of the forty-year-olds at work talking about getting older.  They would talk about how their metabolism had slowed, how their hair was thinning, how youth was wasted on the young.  And they would sort of give each other those knowing looks that seemed to say “Hang in there” or “It’ll be alright.”  I chalked up this overheard confiding to a kind of bonding over Prufrockian misery.

[Read More…]

Half-Way Through Summer/Half-Way to School

by Marc Parsont

summer and beachIt’s the middle of summer, but the ads have started coming already.  Buy backpacks and shoes and pencils, lunch boxes, book covers, shirts, slacks, shorts.

We spend nine months getting through school and then another three months selling them gear, garbage, puff, fluff and Spam (and I really mean Spam…the other Lunch Meat) to go back there.

Even though Labor Day and the beginning of school is far off, you can begin to see that glimmer of hope and eagerness beginning to betray itself.  The gear just starts those juices flowing.

Those tendrils begin to show at odd times, early mornings, late afternoons, when they don’t think they’re being watched.  Little grins and slivers appear randomly.  The complaints begin to taper off.  The moans and whines stop being repetitive, and get replaced by moments of pure silence and peace. [Read More…]

By |August 2nd, 2014|Categories: Commentary, Daily Living, Midlife Foibles!|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Vacation II

by Maggie Lamond Simone

family bathing suitsIt’s good to get away.

The family unity experienced at the start of a vacation is a thing of beauty. The sense of expectation is high and positive attitudes abound. Vacations provide bonding opportunities for both parents and children that will last a lifetime. There is no fighting, no crying and very little whining

We try to vacation at least once a year. We usually go to beaches because I’ve been on a quest to find a conch shell on the beach for the last forty years or so. We’ve been to Maine (no conch shells), Cape Cod (no conch shells), and North Carolina (no conch shells.)

With each conch shell failure, I become more dejected. It bothers my husband almost as much, I think. He hates to see me sad, because he loves me and also because my clutter tends to worsen. “Hey, here’s a thought!” he helpfully chimed in during this year’s planning process. “Let’s find out where the conchs are, and go there!” I ignored his sarcasm and booked a trip to the Gulf Coast of Florida. [Read More…]

A Mid-Life’s Summer Night

by Lori Pelikan Strobel

sleepIt’s 10:30 p.m. The kitchen is cleaned, and the family room picked up. They are both ready for tomorrow’s life of meals, random newspaper circulars, and at least a dozen water glasses left half full lying around both rooms.

The dog, Louie, has been put out for the evening. We both climb the stairs to finally to go to sleep. My husband, already snoring peacefully, has his earphones on and plugged into his Ipad that is now flopped haphazardly onto his stomach. As Louie jumps onto the bed, I prepare my nightly ritual for sleep.

“Boy, it’s so hot in here.” I lower the thermostat before changing into my pajamas. I stare into my closet, trying to conjure an outfit I will wear to work tomorrow. Then, off to the bathroom I plod for the beauty regimen. Teeth brushed and flossed—check. Contacts out, eye make-up off, face washed—check. [Read More…]

Happy First Year to My Twinsies

by DeAnna Scott

birthannouncement2

I’m exhausted.  I am sitting here surrounded by birthday presents, picking pieces of Gigglebellies carrot cake out of my hair, feet aching from an afternoon of running around, stomach rumbling because I forgot to eat and two 1 year olds safely tucked away in their cribs.  All in all, the first year birthday party was a complete success.  The guests enjoyed themselves and we survived.  The day wasn’t without its hiccups, but much like this first year, it has ended beautifully.

I honestly think part of my exhaustion this day is the emotional roller coaster I’ve been on these past several weeks remembering the journey that began one year and nine months ago.  It was then we learned our surrogate, Jess, was pregnant with our twins.   The absolute profoundness of our experiences, since we found out, makes me heady; weepy and excited, melancholy and cheerful – but totally intoxicated in awe and wonder! [Read More…]

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