Mommy A to Z

Motherhood, Alphabetized.

July 19, 2017
by Mommy A to Z

Forget You, Crazy Hat Day

kids camp

The other day, I awoke to a naked 4-year-old standing next to my bed. It isn’t unusual for my son to wake up and come running to our room in the morning. But usually, he’s dressed, excited to show me his Mickey T-shirt or his cool new sneakers with laces he’s (somewhat) tied himself. My kindergartner in his full naked glory is not a sight I’m used to seeing at 6 in the morning.

Once I emerged from my sleepy haze, I realized why my son was naked. It was Dress Like a Superhero Day at camp, and he didn’t want to play along. Continue Reading →

June 20, 2017
by Mommy A to Z

My Baby Is Graduating Preschool, and I’m a Mess


I didn’t cry at my daughter’s preschool graduation. When my little girl walked across that stage in her miniature cap and gown, I felt many things. Amazement at how much she’d grown in just a few short years. Pride in the girl she was becoming, who cared about others and was curious about the world around her. Anxiety that my camera might fail, and I’d forever miss my chance to memorialize this fleeting rite of passage.

And yet, in the midst of all those emotions, I didn’t cry. Which is rather surprising, as it doesn’t take much to get the waterworks going here. Yesterday I cried at the end of Disney’s Descendants. Looking back at my daughter’s graduation, I think it had to do with the baby I was holding in my arms. I could accept my daughter moving on from preschool as the beginning of an exciting new journey. Nothing was really ending, because my son had his preschool years ahead of him.

But this week it’s my son’s turn to graduate. This week, I’ll watch my little boy, my last baby, proudly walk across that preschool stage in his cap and gown, the great unknown of kindergarten looming ahead of him. And I’m kind of falling apart.

Continue Reading →

June 14, 2017
by Mommy A to Z

Why I Hate Summer Camp

summer camp

It’s that time of year. The reading logs have stopped coming home. Parents are frantically collecting money for end-of-year teacher gifts. And my kids have begun the grand countdown to the Last Day of School. Even my preschooler, whose main classroom activities involve building forts with Legos and then pummeling them with toy dinosaurs, is bouncing around the house in anticipation of the sweet taste of freedom.

Everyone is excited. Except me, that is. Because the end of school inevitably means one thing. Camp. And while I love that my kids spend more time in the fresh air, instead of half-listening to their teachers while sneaking swirls on their fidget spinners, there are a few things about camp that drive me crazy. Continue Reading →

February 6, 2017
by Mommy A to Z

To My Daughter, as I Return to Work


My Dearest Daughter,

It was almost eight years ago I left my full-time job to be by your side. I cheered on every milestone, from your first bath to your first word to your first time tasting solid food. I was blessed to be able to work as a freelancer, typing away in an office down the hall from your crib as you slumbered. I had no long-term plan as I lifted you in the air at Musical Munchkins, chased you around playgrounds on summer afternoons, gave out cards at your preschool Valentine’s party. Perhaps I imagined life would always be that way, racing from one sunlit playground to the next, one freelance gig at a time. The two of us against the world. Continue Reading →

December 31, 2016
by Mommy A to Z

Eight Ways I’m Rockin’ Hanukkah This Year

Hanukkah with Kids

In honor of the last night of Hanukkah, here’s a look back at an old post that really captured the spirit of the holiday. This year Hanukkah coincided with Christmas, which led to some fun conversations in our house, most notably my preschooler thanking Santa each night for his Hanukkah presents. Oy vey…

I admit it. Hanukkah isn’t the most glamorous of holidays. Especially when compared to that other holiday we celebrate in our house — you know, the one with the shiny tree and some guy named Santa. Apparently, oil burning in a temple thousands of years ago isn’t as exciting as a man with a giant sleigh and flying reindeer.

That said, I’m determined that this year is going to be different. This year I’m going to make Hanukkah a holiday they’ll remember, even when we’re baking cookies for Santa and hanging stockings with care. Here are eight ways I’m going to rock Hanukkah this year. Continue Reading →

December 22, 2016
by Mommy A to Z

5 Things My Kids Don’t Give a Crap About This Holiday

Holiday kids presents

It’s beginning to… not look a lot like Christmas.

I was at CVS this morning when I realized it. The candy was suddenly buy one, get one half-off. Gold tinsel sprawled limply on the floor. The Christmas toys looked about as fed up with 2016 as I am. And frankly, I’m shopped out. For the past few weeks, like the rest of America, I’ve been in a consumption whirlwind, trying to find more stuff that will make the people I love happy. Even though I know that, after about five minutes, my kids will start fighting over who stole the gold ribbon, break the new train set, and move on to asking what they’re doing for New Year’s. It’s not that they’re not grateful. It’s just that, despite my eating up the marketing like a 2-for-1 special on candy canes, my kids don’t care all that much about having the biggest, best stuff. Continue Reading →

December 19, 2016
by Mommy A to Z

Mindful Mondays: The Gift of Peace

holiday stress

Sleigh bells ring, are you listening? This time of year, I want to experience every moment of fleeting holiday bliss. Baking oddly shaped cookies with my kids. Watching their excitement as they write letters to Santa. Breathing in the fresh smell of pine in my own indoor wonderland. And yet, instead of hearing sleigh bells and laughter, I hear my inner voice. Not enough is done. I’m not ready. It’s moving too fast and I’m missing it. Continue Reading →

November 23, 2016
by Mommy A to Z

Looking Back: Sometimes I’m Not Grateful

Not grateful horizontal

It’s Thanksgiving, and the idea of gratitude is very much on my mind. Especially now, as there seems to be so much turmoil all around us. Sometimes it’s hard to find the good. Sometimes I want to turn my home into a padlocked fortress, curl up with my kids, and never emerge. Yet perhaps being grateful has always been a struggle, even in the best of times. Looking back at my post from last year, “Sometimes I’m Not Grateful,” I realize a lot has changed. We’ve moved into that house I wanted. And while I love it, the “needs” add up quickly. We need to update the kitchen. We need new curtains. The list goes on. The markers recede ever further.

But, when I stop to look, there are reminders all around of goodness, of blessings deserving thanks. My family has recently started volunteering at a community garden, and it’s reminded me: I’m grateful for food. I’m grateful I can help feed others. It’s a basic thing, but a good place to start. This year we’re hosting our first Thanksgiving in our new home. As I race around the kitchen, trying to figure out where my measuring spoons have gone while not burning the meat, I will remember this most basic truth: I am grateful for the family I get to feed. May you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and enjoy this throwback post!

Continue Reading →

November 18, 2016
by Mommy A to Z

Super Easy, Super Cute Thanksgiving Cookies


It’s our first Thanksgiving in our new home! I wanted to make something sweet with the kids, but the problem is, well, I’m a HORRIBLE baker. So I reached out to some of my favorite bloggers, and was thrilled to discover this adorable, no-bake recipe for “Thanksgiving Turkey Cookies” from one of my all-time favorite bloggers, Tarynn Playle, of the awesome blog Mama By Fire. (If you’re not familiar with Mama By Fire, please check it out! The creativity you see here is just a sample of the awesome ideas on her site!) So, without further ado, here is the recipe for cookies your family is sure to gobble up.  Continue Reading →

November 15, 2016
by Mommy A to Z

When 4-Year-Olds Stop Believing in Superheroes


I’m thrilled to be on The Washington Post today, with my latest piece, “What happens when 4-year-olds stop believing in superheroes, but not bad guys?” It’s about my little guy’s latest worry: If there’s no Batman, then who will protect him from the bad guys?

Here is a sneak peek:

“Mommy, are there real bad guys?”

My 4-year-old son has been asking me this question every night. He’s going through a superhero phase, and is obsessed with the Justice League. Lately, he’s concerned about bad guys. He wants to know what Mommy and Daddy plan to do about them.

When I was pregnant, I never expected parenting to be so philosophical. Because, you see, these questions are more complicated than they seem. They began with other, equally confusing questions, such as, “Are Batman and Superman real?” Read the full article.

Do your little ones ask questions you don’t know how to answer? Do they believe in superheroes? I’d love to hear your experiences!

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