Water park for fifth birthday


“Fitting in” requires that we change who we are to fit someone else’s idea. True “belonging” never asks us to change who we are, it demands that we be who we are. - Brene Brown

12, 17

Get at least 2, preferably 3 estimates on any major expenses for home or car.


Go out of your way to part on good terms whenever possible, in all circumstances.


Put your purse, (wallet,bag, phone, or shoe) in the backseat with the baby. Unattended babies die every day and it’s my worst nightmare.

Infant-3, 21

Put together a PowerPoint project outlining addiction: substance, gambling, shopping, hoarding, eating, etc. Have them so the research and put it together. Discuss. Reward its completion with a fun activity or trip.


On September 11th I was at work in Fairfax VA. News reports were saying a plane was headed to the Capitol, that the Whitehouse had been hit. In the immediate aftermath of a big event, news reports will be unreliable. Wait until the facts are in. Several of the nurses had husbands who worked at the Pentagon. One of the doctors was married to a U.S. Senator in her office on the Hill. It was surreal, but no one panicked. I remember we all burst into tears when my friend’s husband called saying he was safe. So relieved.

15, 17

Kitchen Commandment: She who cooks the dinner shall not clean up from dinner. I don't want to raise any of you to take housework for granted. It's hard. It's unfair and not cool to expect anyone (parent, spouse, roommate, etc. )to wait on you.


The person who lives in the body gets to say who touches that body.


If you want to know what a woman wants in a man, I have a simple answer for you: watch the movie Scent of a Woman starring Al Pacino. Specifically, the tango scene.

14, 17, 21

Institute a “Wall of Fame” for accomplishments and victories, big and small. AND a “Wall of Shame” for minor infractions such as not changing the toilet paper roll, etc. We have to be willing to put ourselves on the wall of shame too - and that’s the lesson: We all make mistakes but we own up to them, fix them if possible and learn from them always. Also good fun. Start our with actual paper version but transition to a shared iCloud album to post wall of shame pics once they are old enough for phones. Maybe even continue through adulthood if they “shame” themselves!

5-15, 18, 21

If you ever borrow someone’s car, return it with a full tank of gas.


When you have no idea what you’re doing, just be kind. Be brave. Think critically and make the best decisions you can in the moment. If possible, find resources to learn what you need to know. Ask for help if help is available. Do your best and don’t sweat it.


Your good name is the most important credential you’ll ever have. Act with integrity in all things, that ben if it means short-term pain. Build a reputation for honesty, dependability and trustworthiness.

14, 17, 20

Do not be daunted at the world’s grief. Do justly now. Love Mercy now. Walk humbly now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it. -The Talmud


People may have all kinds of different motives for doing what they do, saying what they say. To “give someone the benefit of the doubt” means that you consider what the best possible reason they may have for doing what they did and assume that was the motive. If someone has earned your trust, even if it’s that they’ve done nothing to break your trust, give them the benefit of the doubt.


Universal Studios


Clip nails after bath. It’s easier to do when they’re softer. (Teach them the same thing when they’re old enough to do it for themselves.)

1, 10

Have a charity lemonade stand. Pediatric cancer research, immigrant children, etc. Lots of problems...Let them be involved in part of the solution.


Motivation: Just start. Two minutes. You don’t need to feel good to get going, you need to get going to give yourself a chance to feel good.


Watch the local news together.


Inevitably you will make mistakes in your career. Someone will dress you down for it. It stings. But they are doing you a favor. Thank them for it. We all have to learn, and we can’t do that if our pride gets in the way. Be humble and accept constructive criticism.

16, 21

Read article about Digital Learning/ transitioning to doing homework on a computer. http://community.today.com/parentingteam/post/it-doesnt-have-to-stay-on-the-screen


It’s not a project, it’s a practice. (Health, fitness, keeping up with current events, prayer or meditation, housework, reading, etc.)


Don’t confuse a broken dream for a broken future. Or a broken heart for a broken life.

13, 15, 17, 19, 21

Crushes are fine but I beg you not to waste your time and energy obsessing about someone. Really it’s just a way to hide, to feel something without risking anything. F that. Turn your attention to something creative, constructive or productive. Make art, train for a race, volunteer or get a second job. Discover WHAT you love. Pursue that and your people will be there.

15, 17, 20, 21

Music, arts, words or dancing can have a profound effect on the spirit. Let's find something that gives you chills!


Ask “Is there anything you want to get off your chest?” Confession is good for the soul! Get in the habit of being a place of support when they screw up. Then when they’re older and REALLY screw up, they know they can trust you to help.


Look into a class for meditation for kids. I read an article on a Baltimore elementary school that replaced detention with meditation and had amazing success.


“Human beings are linked, not ranked.” - Gloria Steinem (f*ck the patriarchy)