I Brake for Moms

A Canadian family adventure with Olympic-sized wins

To kick off summer, I took my son and daughter on a Memorial Day weekend getaway in Canada while my husband was backpacking in the… Continue reading

The crappy side of fatherhood — literally

Fathers matter all the time, and especially in the middle of the night when the baby monitor wails. My husband, like so many excellent dads… Continue reading

Some problems are too big for kids to solve on their own

Sometimes I struggle with knowing when to intervene in my children’s lives, and when to step away and allow them to solve their own problems.… Continue reading

Riding the bus: A summer to learn, a lifetime of ride skills

I got my first job when I was 16 years old, as an intern at the San Diego Zoo’s education department. As jobs went, it… Continue reading

Family chore chart pays kids to get to work

Should kids be paid to do chores? In the real world, adults get jobs, are docked when they don’t perform according to standard and must… Continue reading

7 Mother’s Day gifts guaranteed to take up space in the garage

This Mother’s Day, give Mom what she really wants, a fancy kitchen gadget she will probably only use a few times. She doesn’t have room… Continue reading

Old china: It holds memories, but not yours

If a woman dies and nobody wants to inherit her china, is it still worth $100 a place setting? Stroll through your local thrift store… Continue reading

Parents and kids can solve (predictable) problems together

Have you heard of the educator and psychologist Dr. Ross W. Greene? He has written a bunch of books that you can find at the… Continue reading

Put that spring back in your step

Spring in the Pacific Northwest is dramatic. April doesn’t know if she should dress up in flowers or kick back yards with downed trees. Moss… Continue reading

In spring it really is the season to clean

Spring is the time of renewal. Birds chirp, daffodils bloom and sunshine (when it chooses to grace us with its presence) streams through dirty windows.… Continue reading

With Mom, there’s no such thing a quick trip to the store

“This isn’t going to be an epic shopping trip,” I tell my kids as we climb out of the car. “Look, I’m only bringing one… Continue reading

Worries involving vet bills that all pet owners share

If my son’s bedroom smells a bit doggy, it’s because our poodle sleeps there, too. Every night Merlin curls up at the foot of the… Continue reading

Thoughts on the messy struggles with teens over social media

When I was 12, my biggest issue with phones was whether the cord was long enough to reach from the kitchen to my bedroom. Oh,… Continue reading

The olden days to our kids? TVs without remotes

Every night before she falls asleep, my daughter asks me to tell her a story about what my life was like when I was a… Continue reading

When illness strikes, we all deserve peace of mind

Last week, Blue Cross/Blue Shield called my house. When I saw the caller ID, my stomach lurched. I thought for sure they were calling to… Continue reading

Girl Scout cookie sales spread the love around the neighborhood

This week when you go grocery shopping you will probably walk past a tiny table laden with cookies, and a Girl Scout shivering in the… Continue reading

Local guitar hero is a music teacher

I grew up in a world where learning to bang out “Fur Elise” on the piano meant you were part of the middle class. When… Continue reading

Kitchen dreams are not made of granite counter tops

When’s the last time you hated something about your kitchen? Unless you just had it remodeled, there’s probably something about your kitchen that annoyed you… Continue reading

For some, the simple act of grocery shopping can traumatize

Simple acts of heroism often go unnoticed, and that is particularly the case when it comes to shopping at Costco with a small child. The… Continue reading