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Last night I finally expressed a thought that's been weighing on me for years: I'm not a fan of Dr. Seuss books. When I spoke those words at our dinner table, our Caroline gave me a look not unlike that of Cindy Lou in "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," in the scene in which the wide-eyed child watches the person who she thinks is Santa Claus attempt to steal her…

Black Friday (Nov. 28) was followed by Pink Friday (Dec. 5), the day we learned that more than 500,000 people were handed pink slips in November, with predictions that many more are coming in the months ahead. While these are statistics, the families they affect are real people. (The New York University Child Study Center has some good advice, should you or your family or …

Some parents of special-needs children tell their stories in Sunday's Buffalo News, in a Spotlight cover story by Andrew Galarneau. What comes through to me from their words is the pride they take in their children and the obstacles that they have overcome together. The parents whom Andrew interviewed are skilled at expressing the reality of their lives. They don't sett…

There's a great post on the Greater Good Science Center's Half Full blog this week about teaching conflict resolution to your kids. Their first point is: Yelling at kids to "just knock it off" isn't going to teach them anything. Giving them some guidance on conflict resolution, then allowing them to work out their conflicts themselves, will be very useful to the…

As we wrap up 2008, here’s my early entry on the  In/Out list: Conspicuous consumption – out. Conspicuous deprivation – in. It’s not enough to not have enough, we have to publicize it with a new sort of competitive pride. Our family’s decaying minivan, once a sign of blight, is now a badge of honor.  If we were to replace if and pull up in a new Hummer, we wou…

How was your family's Thanksgiving? It's such a nice, low-key holiday, compared to some others. As Seth Godin says: No gifts, no guilt, no doctrine. We had a massive fowl for dinner, even though Allison doesn't eat meat and none of our kids will try turkey. Let's just say meal planning in our house is a nightmare. We did take our eating to the next level at dessert, of c…

Health and Fitness

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Between Allison being away all week and the passing of my friend Tom Borrelli, I haven't found much time to blog. Our 9-year-old son was envisioning what it will be like when Allison returns Saturday and is greeted at the door by our puppy. "Mom will probably have one of her senior moments," Greggie said. "She and Fiyero will run toward each other in slow …

After another weekend of being a basketball/drama/swimming dad, I found the video below to be pretty funny. The title is "How Not to Be a Soccer Mom." It's from a site called Howcast. (Hat tip to Happy Healthy Hip Parenting.) They have a collection of videos for parents, including: "How to Text Your Way into Your Kid's Life," "How to Be a Good Pa…

Allison left this morning on a business trip for a few days, so I'm temporarily a single parent. The biggest challenge will come Saturday, when our kids collectively have: a girls basketball practice, a boys basketball game, a swim meet, a three-hour practice for the school play. I don't plan to completely give in and race around all day to every one of those stops. So …

Suddenly life is starting to feel like "The Waltons," though minus the mountain. Belts, including our own, are being tightened so much that we're punching new holes in them. Just today I went to buy something at a long-standing Buffalo upscale store and was told "we don't take checks anymore." I then proceeded to the dry cleaners and asked how business…

Now that Barack Obama has been elected president, there are many promises to keep. Middle-class tax cuts. A way out of Iraq. But the one that must be foremost on his mind is -- "Did I really tell the kids they could get a puppy if I'm elected?" The First Kids are holding him to it. The president-elect addressed his daughters, Malia (10) and Sasha (7), in his vi…

I just discovered a terrific blog called Half Full: Science for Raising Happy Kids, which is based at the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley. The latest post discusses the correlation between making social connections and happiness. Half Full's Christine Carter writes:Robert Putnam wrote an interesting book, Bowling Alone, about how we A…

Picking up on Libby's comment from Thursday about the age cut-off for trick-or-treaters, we've got a 15-year-old Hallo-Tween in our house. She is probably too old for the candy routine, but she still rues the fact that a school dance has been scheduled tonight, conflicting with trick-or-treat time. Our teen spends the other 364 days a year trying to act her age and older.…

Here are some Halloween items from around the Internets: Bruce Springsteen and his wife have canceled the traditional Halloween display at their New Jersey home. The Boss said it attracted too much traffic and he was concerned for the safety of passersby. NBC "Today" contributor Dr. Gail Saltz gives some advice for how to deal with those too-revealing costume…