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October 2014

Features

Behind the Napkins

We could start here… Garth Callaghan is the Napkin Notes Dad, who writes an inspirational note on the napkin in his daughter’s school lunchbox every single day. By the time his daughter, Emma, graduates from high school, he will have written approximately two thousand of these notes, a father’s love…

Candy is Dandy, But…

I’ve always loved Halloween. In fact, I encourage dressing up all the time with my kids. Capes. Sombreros. Pirate patches. Tutus. My daughters’ closets are filled with an assortment of costume pieces and parts. One minute they are fairies, the next knights. But when my older daughter was three, she…

The New Active

It seems everyone in our family is sitting for a good portion of the day. My husband and I have office jobs. Our children are sitting in school for what appears to be longer durations as they get older. When a desk jockey like me reads Sitting is the new…

Columns

Welcome to the fall of 2014, readers!

Or as my 8-year-old announced one morning last weekend, “It smells like winter is coming, Mom!” Just like seemingly everything in life, October takes on a whole new meaning once kids are in the picture. Back in the day for us, it was all about High on the Hog (one…

Duly Noted

  Some of the most smile-inducing parenting memories I can conjure up involve meeting my kids in an elementary school cafeteria for lunch. There’s something about elementary school that announces to us parents, You are welcome here! Yes, most teachers want your help reading at story time. And it’s true,…

The Most Important Decision You Will Ever Make

My older son, Ben, is a senior in high school, which means that, like approximately 2.1 million other young men and women, he is engaged in the college search. There are several searches that define the arc of parenting. There is, of course, the childcare search. Childcare can be broadly…

Departments

Left Behind

In an effort to protect funds and plan for the future, people choose beneficiaries, strategically shift assets, or add joint owners with good intentions, but often without fully understanding the potential ramifications. Poor decisions can be costly, sometimes causing beneficiaries to receive considerably less than intended. Consider these common mistakes…

Attention, Please!

“But I can’t have ADHD. I am not hyperactive.” This is what I told the counselor in medical school when I was first diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). I knew I was having trouble with concentration in school and I went to the counselor to try to find…

Grandeur in Ruins

In 1892, Major Lewis Günter decided to build the finest hotel in America, in Richmond.  Some would say he succeeded, considering its impressive guest list, which included Teddy Roosevelt, Bette Davis, Henry Ford, Gertrude Stein, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and John D. Rockefeller. The Jefferson Hotel opened in 1895 with an inaugural masquerade…

The Great Pumpkin

Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour muffin cups for 12 large muffins. Whisk together 3 cups flour, 2½  teaspoons baking powder, ¼ teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon nutmeg, and ¼ teaspoon allspice. Beat 6 tablespoons butter and ¾ cup brown sugar for…

Asthma Doesn’t Have to Slow You Down

You’ve been running for months, but you know that sometimes exercise brings on chest tightness. There has been some wheezing, too. What’s going on? Could this mean cancelling your plans to sign up for that half-marathon? Not to worry. You might have exercise-induced asthma (EIA). Many successful athletes have had…

ChildSavers

Nine-year-old Liam and his 13-year-old sister, Melanie, are playing in the basement. Their lives, up to that moment, have been what every child deserves: quiet, stable, ordered. The gunshots from upstairs end all that. Their mother is critically wounded. Their father is dead by the gun he used on their…

Kids, Cars, and Safety

My 6-year-old daughter still rides in a car seat with a 5-point harness, which is the safest option for her thirty-six-pound frame. Lucky for me, she has not developed booster-seat envy, despite knowing that the bulk of her kindergarten buddies ride in boosters. I like to think it’s because my…

Feeling a Little Batty?

If you’re crazy for Halloween, here’s a fun home décor idea. Can’t you just picture one of these bats in every window, the way some folks use wreaths during the holidays? Or make one for every member of the family and let them hang out together. What you need: •…

Sleep Habits and Independence

Q: I gave in this summer and let my 3-year-old fall asleep on the couch most nights while watching her favorite movie. Any ideas for getting her back into her bed and sleeping at an appropriate hour? A: Have you ever noticed how 3-year-olds can become rigid, even obsessive, in…

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