Happy 5th Birthday, Alexandra

I write letters to my children on their birthdays. Here is last year’s letter to Alex.


Dear Alex,

Five years ago we were surprised by your arrival. Born three weeks ahead of your due date, you were a tiny little thing.

And now you’re five years old. Full time preschooler and warrior girl. You are a wonder. You jump into life with such energy and exuberance. I love how you challenge me to enjoy life more freely.

This year was full of new things for you – a home in a new city, a new preschool that you love, getting a puppy, getting better at swimming and reading, learning hula. You also ate a live cricket, which your dad (NOT ME) fed to you.

You love making art and doing your morning pages. You enjoy helping with house chores, listening to stories, playing with friends, and making people laugh. Your personality is full of strength and zeal. I love seeing you grow and explore.

Happy birthday, Alex! Here’s to a wonderful year, my beloved daughter.

Love, Mom


20 Lessons I Learned From Parenting

Lessons in Parenting

This post is also featured on the Huffington Post.

I am a mom juggling three kids these days.

And I literally mean “juggling.” Toting a 1-year-old, a 3-year-old, and a 7-year-old, plus all their diapers, sippy cups, and random toys, is the equivalent of carrying around 50-lb weights while running a marathon. People ask me how I stay in shape, and I say, “Jillian Michaels DVDs,” but I actually mean, “My three children.”

So then, I am now armed with lots of parenting wisdom, which I will pass off to you.

1. Kids will play peacefully for a maximum of 2 1/2 minutes. After that, crying will begin because someone got hurt or someone needs something.

2. Always carry wipes, band-aids, Purell, and emergency snacks.

3. The moment kids are dressed in their “nice” clothes is the moment juice will spill or a poop explosion will occur.

4. Stale Cheerios found under the table are an acceptable adult lunch.

5. Do not allow glitter in the house. Ever.

6. If you ever have the impression that you have time to take a shower, use the bathroom, or fix yourself a meal, you are about to be proved wrong.

7. Bribery with candy is a fine survival tactic.

8. Don’t wear white until your kids grow up and move out.

9. Kids will need the most attention when you are on the phone. That’s why texting was invented.

10. The more you are trying to hurry, the more kids will dawdle and get distracted. Children interpret “Come on, let’s go!” as “Now is a great time to look for that one missing toy.”

11. Daily baths are unnecessary.

12. If one kid is napping, the other kid is awake. They stagger their naps on purpose.

13. It’s okay to have “movie day” so you can get things done.

14. No matter how much you vacuum, babies will find tiny, unidentifiable items to stick in their mouths.

15. Unless you want to say, “No” a thousand times, stay far away from the toy aisles in Target.

16. Make friends with people who are okay with you showing up late.

17. A messy house, undone dishes, and unkempt hair are allowed.

18. Sometimes parents need a time out.

19. A cardboard box and pens make a great afternoon activity. Finger paint, not so much.

20. Vital parenting tools include: iPhones, a helpful spouse, second (or third) cups of coffee, and a good sense of humor.

Happy 7th Birthday, Aaron

I write letters to my children on their birthdays. Here is last year’s letter to Aaron


Dear Aaron,

Happy 7th Birthday!

Well I’m not sure how it came to be that you are SEVEN now, but here we are. You are no longer my little kid; you’re a full-grown boy. This morning I said to you, “You’re seven. You were in my tummy once, and now you’re seven! You made me a mommy for the first time.” Your response with an eye-roll: “Yeah, Mom. I know.”

This year has been so much fun with you. You’ve done so many new things –  learned how to swim across the pool, joined a soccer team, lost your first tooth, started reading longer books by yourself.

You’re interested in cooking, very helpful with washing dishes, and getting good at strategy board games. You make up puns and jokes (this trait is from your Dad), and love to make people laugh. When you see your friends, you run off with a quick, “Bye, Mom!” and I’m left shaking my head at how much of a boy you’ve turned into.

You continue to have a fun-loving, laid-back personality. You ask lots of questions, trying to figure out how the world works. You care about others around you. Sometimes you think about how to be generous with your friends.

You love playing at the park, eating ice cream, playing with your sisters, reading your Plants vs. Zombies books, dancing to Thriller, playing 7 Wonders, and going to the beach.

This Mother’s Day, you gave me a ceramic rose that you made in school. I look at it, beautifully molded and painted by my little boy. And I am reminded what a gift it is to have you as my son.

I give you my blessing to become all of who you are uniquely created to be.

I love you and am so grateful you are part of my life.

Your Mom