Why You Should Take Your Kids to Caves, Monasteries, and Fancy Hotels

Why You Should Take Your Kids to Caves, Monasteries, and Fancy Hotels

As loyal readers will know, my family of five is currently on a six week road trip around the United States before we begin our new life in Texas. We’re in week three and it’s been 90% wonderful and 10% sibling bickering, unexpected traffic, and unreasonable requests for snacks. We’ve camped, been hosted by friends, and stayed in hotels over the past 17 days. We’ve visited national parks, big … [Read more...]

The Secret to Not Fighting With Your Kids About Their Messy Room

The Secret to Not Fighting with Your Kids Over Their Messy Room // Carrots for Michaelmas

Want to know the secret? Get rid of all the toys.  Ok, ok, not ALL of the toys. Just a few garbage bags worth. Seriously. After weeks of begging, threatening, and fighting over the kids' messy room, we finally wised up and realized that they weren't trying to be uncooperative little stinkers, the task was overwhelming. When our five-year-old sat down in the middle of his room and cried that … [Read more...]

Recalibrating! (How Parenting Is Like Following a GPS)

How Parenting Is Like Following a GPS.jpg

You know where you’re trying to go. You thought you were on the road that would get you there, but suddenly everything looks wrong and your intuition is confirmed when the know-it-all voice of the GPS on your dashboard barks, “RECALIBRATING!” You took a wrong turn and the lady inside your GPS is frantically trying to get you back on track. For a blogger,  I have surprising Luddite tendencies. I … [Read more...]

Two Parenting Epiphanies I Wish I’d Realized Sooner


I've had a couple of valuable epiphanies since Baby Gwen (our third) arrived. After an easy-going season for four-year-old Benjamin, the addition of a new baby seemed to throw him for a loop. His frustration wasn't ever directed at her, his "sweetheart", but at me. We just weren't clicking. It felt like he was a black hole of needs and I was in the throws of postpartum sleep deprivation with … [Read more...]

Pumpkins, Pink Eye, and Dealing with Disappointment


(Orc pumpkin suggested by Benjamin, executed by Daniel) Last year Benjamin was 3 and it was the first he'd ever heard of Halloween. Not that we're opposed, it's just that we're lazy we didn't see a need to load him up with candy or tear our hair out making costumes if he was just as happy not knowing. But last year, his toddler sleuthiness sniffed it out and he talked about nothing else. So, we … [Read more...]

How My Kids Didn’t Ruin Mass

Confession: my kids are not typically little angels at Mass. ‘Typical” Mass behavior being our 3-year-old banging the kneeler open and closed and then dropping it on his own foot. Commence siren-like wailing. Or the kids tussling over who gets to hold the Baby Jesus finger puppet. And, to no one’s surprise, the preschooler throwing the St. Joseph finger puppet at his baby sister’s head doesn’t … [Read more...]

Getting Kids to Sleep Later

  So here’s the thing: we did get our kids to sleep later. But I don't want to mislead you. Our kids still wake up way too early. However, the fact that they no longer wake at 4:30am is a huge success. In fact, they now sleep two hours later and get up at 6:30am. So, in comparison it’s a win but let’s not pretend that 6:30am isn’t obscenely early. So we couldn’t cure our kids of the horrid … [Read more...]

Should You Limit Your Child’s Reading Choices?

  I am surprised by the popularity of a post I wrote a few weeks ago: “Why You Can’t Read Twilight: A Letter to My Daughter,” and I’m simply fascinated by some of comments it’s received. Some folks love it, but boy does it rub some people the wrong way! Many commenters think the idea that I would tell my daughter at say, age 11, that she can’t read Twilight is downright loony and they refer to … [Read more...]

On Not Knowing the Secret to Discipline

(Our three-year-old's scowl during a time-out) I really can’t decide what’s more exhausting: the sleep deprivation of the newborn stage or the behavioral challenges of “the terrible threes.” A few weeks ago a lovely reader asked for my thoughts on toddler discipline.  I called my husband over. “Daniel! Check this out! Somebody wants to know our approach to discipline!” We both got a good … [Read more...]

Why You Can’t Read Twilight: A Letter to My Daughter

Why You Can't Read Twilight: A Letter to My Daughter // Carrots for Michaelmas

Today my baby girl cut her first tooth. I want to believe that by the time she and her little friends are old enough to read Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series, everyone will have forgotten about that embarrassing literary atrocity. But, I’m afraid that might be wishful thinking. I want to have an answer prepared when my daughter says, “My friend Susie gets to read the Twilight books and why can’t … [Read more...]