All three of my children sleep through the night. I don't say this to brag or to make any of you envious. This accomplishment didn't come easy"it was years of work in the making. Ferber, Weissbluth, threats, rewards -- we used every sleep-training theory available to achieve the trifecta. Just thinking about the middle-of-the-night brings back unpleasant memories of exhausting feedings and the ensuing arguments about whose turn it was to get the baby. So please understand when I say that New Year's Eve holds absolutely no interest to me. I consider myself one of the lucky ones to have the luxury of passing from 2010 to 2011 in blissful slumber.
To be honest, New Year's Eve was not a favorite holiday of mine, even before kids. I always felt too much pressure. First, there was the pressure to find a date, or at least someone to kiss as the ball dropped. It was like Valentine's Day had come a month and a half early, but with genuine holiday legitimacy (no one takes Valentine's Day seriously after elementary school, right?). And then, even if a date was scored, there was pressure for big plans -- to be invited to the right (or some years, any) party, to snag reservations at a hot new restaurant, to get into a club before the clock struck midnight. In essence, I felt overwhelming pressure to have fun. I guess I've always considered one of the many benefits of "settling down" and starting a family was the right to stay home on December 31. I could now announce, using my best "Oh, I am so boring now that I have kids" voice, that I'll be watching New Year's Rockin' Eve. It's not that my New Year's Eve date had never been Dick Clark before, but now I could say it with mock horror as opposed to genuine embarrassment. I had finally gotten out of the New Year's Eve rat race.
But this year I don't recognize the names of half the folks who will be performing on the ABC special. Have any of you heard of La Roux or Far East Movement? And those I do recognize, namely the Back Street Boys and New Kids on the Block, have little nostalgic value to me. I guess I am probably more Bandstand than boy band. Besides, my kids are itching to actually do something this year. They must have gotten the "party" gene from their father. Maybe we'll try the family-friendly US Bank Eve I've heard so much about. The night boasts awesome acts like the homegrown live-band karaoke known as Gomeroke and the music of Madison's Ken Lonnquist, plus temporary tattoos, horns and a Monona Terrace balloon drop countdown at the fabulously sane time of 9:30 p.m. Perhaps it's worth extending bedtimes into the double digits, both theirs and mine, for a quick toast as fireworks explode over Lake Monona at 10:05. I'll have four fabulous dates, after all. All of whom I'd be happy to kiss at a fake midnight.
What is your New Year's Eve speed? Are you champagne at twelve or more Auld Lang Syne at nine?comments powered by Disqus
If there is an excuse for not working out and eating healthy, I have used it: I don't have time. I'm too tired. I'll start tomorrow. I'm no good at this, I give up. I don't know where to start. Yes, I have used all of these and more.
At almost a year old, my kids are in the blissful stage of life where they'll eat nearly anything that I put in front of them (at least as long as it doesn't require much in the way of molar action).
My family recently went through something that we have not experienced in over eight years. We have become a household that no longer harbors a crib or a changing table.
"There really is no wrong way to do it." That's how Madeline, age 13, describes creating artwork. She and her classmates at Prairie View Middle School in Sun Prairie are honing their artistic skills by participating in the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art's Art on Tour program.
I'm having trouble enjoying the season, because I can't keep myself from thinking about the miserable weather that's sure to be following close on the heels of the crisp, pleasant fall we've been having. I am not at all emotionally prepared to be the parent of two toddlers during a Wisconsin winter.
I've always been a supporter of companies that empower women and girls, and when the creator of such a company is a fellow Wisconsinite, I get even more excited. When Melissa Wardy of Janesville got fed up with stereotypes found in clothing for girls, she started her own company.
Do you have a little reader or an aspiring teenaged writer in your house? If so, you may want to venture to the Wisconsin Book Festival this weekend, to whet their appetite for wonderful words as well as your own.
When I was pregnant with my daughter, my husband and I had two names picked out. Upon her arrival we had not yet come to a conclusion on what that name would be. Everyone told us that when we saw her we would just know. We didn't.
At age 10 months, my kids have seen the zoo a lot already. I was a zoology major in college, and I have something of a zoo addiction still, so the twins (and their dad) are more or less condemned to a future rife with zoo visits.
Home-schooling can be a lonely proposition. Even as a college professor, Juliana Hunt remembers struggling to find support to home-school her now-grown daughter. "I was always hoping to find like-minded people who were in the same position as me," she says. "I know that children learn best through a give-and-take, question-and-answer process of teaching and learning, but where do you find mentors who can make that happen?"
After sleep patterns, I think the next biggest parenting concern I have and hear about revolves around the topic of food. How can I make sure my kids are eating enough vegetables? Did I pack them a lunch that is healthy enough? What can I feed them after school that doesn't come from a box? How many gripes am I going to get about the dinner I'm about to prepare?
As far as places to embark on Baby's First Air Travel go, Dane County Regional Airport is a pretty sound choice, especially at 6 p.m. on a Saturday night. My biggest fear was that my nine-month-old son would start screaming in the airport; my second biggest fear was that my son would start screaming and some of my former Epic colleagues would be around to hear it.
The recent shift in the weather is just another sign that autumn is fast approaching. That means one of my favorite activities is just around the corner -- apple picking. My husband and I have been picking apples every fall since before our kids were born.
I have a lot of questions about what to put on my eight-month-olds' plates -- and, if I'm honest, a deep and abiding fear of putting the wrong thing there. Did I start them on solid foods at the right time? What's the deal with baby-led weaning -- how much self-feeding should they be doing? At what age should I give them potential allergens like shellfish or nut products?
Lily the potbellied pig arrived at Heartland Farm Sanctuary blind, lethargic and too overweight to walk. The children of Heartland's summer day camp program took it upon themselves to put the curl back in her tail.
Is it just me or does each summer seem to go by quicker than the last? The end of summer is upon us and for many families this means the start of a new school year.
This past week, on the way to the grocery store, my daughter asked what I believed she thought would be a innocuous question, "Mom, when are we going back-to-school shopping?"
Volunteering with the Young Writers Summer Camp this past week really helped me to remember how utterly creative kids can be when encouraged to come up with their own ideas and use their own words.
This past week I gleefully accepted an offer for new job on the UW-Madison campus. My kids are getting are older and I guess I've felt for a while now that it was time to figure out what would be next for me on the professional front.
"Kids spend so much time in and around school, it's the only place where some have a chance to develop an appreciation for a healthy lifestyle," says Katie Hensel, founder and executive director of Tri 4 Schools.