Mother’s Day Afternoon

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A picnic...An adventure...And an extra load of laundry!  … [Read more...]

The Battle Lines are Drawn

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My family has an ugly history with mouse infestation. I largely attribute my first descent into postpartum depression (back in 2006) to the pregnant mice of West Philadelphia who set up their labor and delivery unit in our one-bedroom apartment right around the time I brought home my second newborn. But, praise God, the memories have faded. We have been living mouse-free since 2009.Until today. When I found mouse scat sprinkled in and around my baby's highchair (a midnight snack of … [Read more...]

Hookups and iPhones

Donna Frietas' book, The End of Sex: How Hookup Culture Is Leaving a Generation Unhappy, Sexually Unfulfilled, and Confused About Sexual Intimacy, is getting a lot of attention in the mainstream media. In the book, Ms. Frietas analyzes surveys of 2,500 students from 11 campuses to discover that hookups (defined as "fast, uncaring, unthinking, and perfunctory sex") are perceived as the only romantic option on campuses, even though many of the students interviewed wished it were otherwise. For ex … [Read more...]

The Domestic Arts: Veni, Vidi, Vici

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For the whole schoolyear, I have been putting off sewing my daughter's badges onto her scout troop vest. Because I don't know how to use a sewing machine. What? I graduated from college with a degree in public policy and started having babies 4 seconds later. I've been taught to use a sewing machine a handful of times, but it never stuck. Proficiency with machines and domestic arts are two skill sets that I lack--by nature and by choice.Anyway, today the scouts are wearing their uniforms at … [Read more...]

Old-Fashioned Romance Revolution

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Today on Public Discourse, in her piece "Our National Sex Day", Caitlin Seery aptly describes how our national day set aside for thoughtful romance has been degraded:  Valentine's Day is here again, as stores have been telling us for the past month, with piles of red-cellophane-wrapped chocolate and heart-shaped doilies in every window. This holiday--once an opportunity for husbands and wives to show their love and affection for each other, to bring back some of the romance that so easily … [Read more...]

A decade of blessings: From morning bagel dates to the catering menu.

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Ten years ago right now, February-April 2003, it was our senior year at Princeton and we were in the thick of thesis completion. My boyfriend (now husband) and I loved to meet on those crisp mornings at Panera in town, picking up Cinnamon Crunch bagels and hazelnut coffee then smuggling them into Firestone Library to get an early start on the day's writing.So no tradition is more meaningful or fun than taking our crew to the Panera up the road for Cinnamon Crunch bagels and coffee on a … [Read more...]

Happy Feast of St. Lucy!

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Pop Music and Kids

From one of our dear friends:I am growing weary of listening to toddler music in the car.  My daughter will happily listen to classical music at home but not in the car.  She has heard pop music only a couple of times but really seems to love it.Do you allow your children to listen to pop music?If yes, then how to you determine what is or isn't appropriate and how do you enforce this in a consistent way?And if not, then what do your children listen to? How do you shield t … [Read more...]

Essence of Toddler: What’s Wrong with This Picture

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"What's Wrong With This Picture" activities are among my older kids' favorites. So we especially enjoyed a real-life version when we finally located our unsupervised toddler last night right before bed.(1) newborn baby sister's pacifier compromised--check(2) destruction of electronic equipment in progress--check(3) destruction of self imminent (treacherously high up the stairs and ready to dive)--checkI am Toddler.  … [Read more...]

“Natural Family Planning” and Method Effectiveness

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Refugees from the sympto-thermal method, my husband and I have begun learning the Creighton model for fertility awareness over the last few months. With five healthy children in seven years, as Mary-Alice says so perfectly, we are “drowning in blessings”!Both the sympto-thermal method and the Creighton model rely on one of the same biomarkers to indicate fertility, and both involve daily charting of signs to determine fertile and infertile days of a cycle. In spite of such noticeable sim … [Read more...]


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