The Professional Photo Shoot (In Honor of My 3rd Child)

by Lori Pelikan Strobel

Lori and LouieThe night before the photo shoot, I made sure he had a bath. I brushed his teeth and trimmed his hair so you could see his eyes. The next morning when I said, “We’re going for a car ride,” Louie ran to the door and waited patiently. I packed a bag of his snacks and favorite toys. Finally we were ready. Louie, my dog, was ready for his first professional photo shoot.

I am an empty nester and Louie is my third child. I admit it. Louie has replaced my children – my husband knows it, my kids know it, and Louie knows it.

I love stopping at the pet store to buy little treats and toys for him. He also receives a monthly BarkBox of surprise toys and treats. My phone is filled with pictures of my dog. I feel like a new mom as I take pictures of every new thing he does or encounters.

He sleeps, I take a picture. He looks cute, I take a picture. He plays with a toy, I take a picture. It’s his birthday … well, you get the picture! [Read More…]

Back to School, Already? The View From Scott’s Corner!

PicMonkey CollageMothering contributor DeAnna Scott, 48, is the mother of twins, Robert and Phoebe (born via a traditional surrogacy in June 2013). DeAnna is a p/t photographer and full-time mom. Her work is featured on a monthly basis. Copyright Scott Photography.

By |September 4th, 2015|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , |0 Comments

The Long Wave Goodbye

by Cyma Shapiro

Dear Reader: Each year, I repost this essay, written when my children were young. However, it remains true to me; the original wave is etched in my heart and mind forever.  school bus

Today, I waved to my daughter riding away on the bus. The silly kind of wave – two arms, as if jumping for dear-life and flagging down a passing ship.  We both continued waving until the bus was out of sight.  Walking back to my house, I had a lump in my throat. I am both happy and sad.

I’m sad for the time which is passing so quickly; sad, too, that I see that my parenting must be working well – my own daughter still longs for me.  (I did not have that with my own mother.) I waited a long time to become a mother (again). I will continue to try my hardest to fulfill her need until her hands stop reaching for mine, the arm waves stop, and I see her waving to her friends – not me. That time is coming. In fact, it’s just around the corner.

Writer Kelly Salasin blogged, “There are so many deaths in mothering, beginning at the beginning, and arriving every day after. But equally matched with these deaths are the blessings of a new life – new growth – new possibility.” These words resonate with me and touch my heart. [Read More…]

Two Parenting Short Stories – by Mr. Mom

by Marc Parsont

kids sofaSofa So Good

My first mistake was putting my hands down between the pillows as I helped my wife rearrange the house for a dinner we were hosting.  I’m pretty sure something moved while I reconnoitered the nooks and crannies of our living room sofa.

There was enough dirt, dog hair (HOW?  Dog not allowed on sofa.) pencils, pens, crayons and raisins (G-d I hope that was a raisin.) to fill a garbage bag.  If you’re missing Lego pieces, I now direct you to your living room or downstairs sofa.

You’ll hit the jackpot, I’m sure.  I scored 49 cents myself, a good payday for a massage therapist. [Read More…]

By |September 1st, 2015|Categories: Fatherhood, Fathers over 50, Midlife Foibles!|Tags: , |0 Comments

Breastfeeding Halves Your Chances of Post-Natal Depression

by Ellie Stoneley

Milky MomentsCan breastfeeding make you happy?

It does me, albeit, after a shaky start.

Now there is proof that it can lower your risk of depression.

A UK report says, post natal depression is more than double in women who planned to breastfeed and then were unable to, whereas the women who planned to breastfeed and then did are 50% less likely to be affected. This is significant when you consider that 1 in 10 women develop depression after the birth of a child. [Read More…]

Awash in Rainbows

by Nicholas D'Ambra

rainbow flagsRecently, I read an article in the Washington Post by a 26-year old gay man who was upset about the some 26 million Facebook users who enveloped their profile photos in rainbows. He felt that there was much insincerity on the part of many who were doing nothing more than boosting their own personal PR portraits.

Gay marriage, or marriage, as I hope it will be referred to from here on out, isn’t one man’s struggle. It took a tremendous amount of support from a great number of people to make this change happen. It didn’t happen in 26 years. Some people fought for it and didn’t live to see it. [Read More…]

Camp Forms

by Marc Parsont

summer camp IIIYes, my wife and I look forward to the kids returning to school. I’ m sure she thinks along the lines that we’re getting the kids back on a regular schedule and we don’t have to think about trips, traveling, and keeping the kids entertained.

While I’m looking forward to the return of school, my self-professed joy comes from simple self-survival: No more camp forms to fill out, fill in, copy, fax, mail, take to the doctor’s office or retrieve from the doctor’s office.

When I was a kid, back at the dawn of time, my parents kicked the door open and told me to go outside. I did my camps: YMCA Camp Letts and a couple of basketball camps, but we didn’t do anything or have the number of camps that our kids now have to choose from, which meant that we had fewer forms that needed to be filled out and to be filled in. [Read More…]

By |August 21st, 2015|Categories: Commentary, Daily Living, Fatherhood|Tags: , , |3 Comments

Adoption’s Teachable Moment #27

by Melanie Elliott

Melanie's baby's photo

If you’ve been reading my posts, you’ll know that my family is a transracial adoptive family. My husband and I brought our son home with us from Ethiopia nearly 5 years ago when he was a little over a year old.

Since bringing him home, when we are with The Littlest E and sometimes without him, we’ve experienced those awkward and/or uncomfortable moments when someone says something inappropriate (but well meaning at times) about adoption.

They may say something that’s meant to be a joke, but comes off completely off color. Or, they may do something outright rude. When that happens, and it does, I use that as an opportunity for an “Adoption Teaching Moment” as I like to call it. [Read More…]

Summertime and the Living …

by Nancy LaMar-Rodgers

Nancy Rodgers kids and pool…Was Easy

Growing up in the 60’s and 70’s with a ton of siblings and a block filled with kids all the same varied ages; summertime was heaven on earth.  On our street on Long Island, there could be, on any given summer day, twenty or so kids of various ages, still playing well into the dusk hours.

By sunset, we had already finished endless innings of stickball, had climbed numerous trees, played kick the can and ring-a-lario(a game that would probably be outlawed today) and were ready for the evening activity of catching fireflies and roasting marshmallows, on real sticks that you had to find.

These memories of summer are emblazoned in my memory, more and more these days as I struggle with the question of “what to do with my 10-year-old boy” on these long, warm, glorious days. [Read More…]

Our Summer Vacation

by Jo-Ann Rogan

Jo-Ann Rogan's familyWe are a typical family, Mom, Dad, two boys. I work part-time so that I am around for my kids, I was vice president of the PTA in school last year, and I am on the board of directors of my kids swim team.

We live in a lovely little urban neighborhood where it is possible for my kids to play outside by themselves and they know many of the names of the dogs and owners who pass our house on their way to the park and we are not beyond a “deck night” with the neighbors. All just ordinary stuff, the only thing that makes us different is my husband and I are in a hardcore punk band together.

The band was active in the 90’s and we spend the better part of a decade on the road until I discovered I was pregnant at the ripe age of 38. After the band had fiery break up, I moved on with the guitarist to marriage, parenthood, and middle age. [Read More…]

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