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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…

Health and Fitness

Happy Diwali, everyone. When Allison and I traveled to India last spring, we became very fond of the many friendly people we met there. Today begins Diwali, India's Festival of Light. It is the country's biggest holiday, as important to Hindus as Christmas is to Christians. Western New York residents with ties to India will no doubt be celebrating today. I pl…

There's a great post on the Free Range Kids blog titled "We are we chauffering our kids to the bus stop?" Writer Lenore Skenazy's point is that kids should not only walk home from the bus stop -- or even from school! -- for their physical health, but for the psychological benefits of becoming self-sufficient human beings. Skenazy writes:When parents pick their …

How much do you talk about politics and the presidential election with your school-aged children? Allison and I are pretty "free range" when it comes to this. That's partly because we often disagree about issues or candidates. We both have the same big picture goals for our society and our family, but we differ on how to get there. One of us is more of a flaming…

Along with the onset of fall comes the beginning of every other activity, extracurricular, sports, church, etc. And any organized activity involving kids has to have a kick-off meeting for the parents. Yes, I get that parents need to be informed about whatever is going on with their kid’s team, church group, sex education class, or troop. But now having attended about 100…

The undefeated Sabres are at home tonight, playing Game No. 4 out of 82. All seems to be well in our house when a Sabres game is on either the TV or the radio. Is hockey an opiate for the masses in Western New York? I can't speak for the masses, but it works for us. Hockey is the one sport through which I can connect with our 15-year-old daughter. Maddie doesn't really c…