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While students are jumping up and down at the announcement of a snow day, the day off of school leaves parents scrambling to figure out what to do with them. Most grown-ups don’t have the luxury of a snow day. I know that when that cancellation call comes at 5:10 a.m., my jealousy sets in an…

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I finally found a term that describes the situation when an individual leaves the toilet paper roll empty, ignores the cats’ depleted food dish and refuses to discard the box after eating the final cracker. It’s “diffusion of responsibility.” This occurs when one thinks that someone else wil…

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If you’ve wandered up to the lakefront at Washington Park recently, you might have felt like you were transported to Greenland. The shelf ice along Lake Michigan’s lakeshore has again blessed us with a magnificent glacial-looking seascape. Almost as far as the eye can see is a blanket of whi…

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Growing up, New Year’s Eve was probably my second favorite holiday, right behind Christmas. If you count the day we set by our clocks each fall, New Year’s Eve is right behind it.

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I don’t quite have words for it, but there is something uniquely special about New Year’s Eve. It’s as if some kind of magical spell is cast upon us when the clock chimes at midnight. It’s a chance to start anew; the line in the sand separating what once was from what may be.

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For many of us, the time of year between Halloween and New Year’s Day brings unparallelled anticipation and excitement. Holiday baking, decorating, religious observances, shopping and gathering with family and friends consume every waking moment outside of work and school.

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Generations of children have grown up healthy and thriving despite drinking water from garden hoses, riding bicycles without hands on the handlebars and daring each other to eat dirt (or in my family’s case, cat food).

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During a recent fit of insomnia, I watched a late, late 1940s movie, “The Green Promise.” Despite its single star rating, I was drawn in to see its young star, Natalie Wood.

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I opened my “Column” manila folder to prepare for this week’s column. It’s a file bursting at the seams with a collection of news clippings and Post-It Notes relating to parenting and child development.

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Last Sunday, I enjoyed a typical Sunday with my family at church. As a special treat, my daughter and I went to lunch. We must have talked for an hour about anything and everything. Anyone with a teenager knows how few and far between those moments are. On the way home, we listened to Christ…

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A recent online news headline grabbed my attention: “How long $1 million will last in retirement in every state.” You may be thinking what I’m thinking — that I wish I had $1 million so I could see just how long it really would last.

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I remember being told before my oldest daughter was born that I would be able to distinguish her cries from all of the other babies’ cries in the hospital nursery. It was true. And, when I heard those cries, I just had to hold her.

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As a child, I always preferred to go trick-or-treating on a full stomach. That is, a full stomach of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Sweetarts and Milk Duds.

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It may seem that car seats naturally expire. After a car seat’s first resident baby has a few spit-ups and super soggy diapers during drive time, or expresses the lunchtime green peas, the car seat starts to look and smell like something from a musty, abandoned basement. It’s hard to believe…

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With the recent security breach of a major credit bureau, it’s a good time to revisit the topic of identity theft, and how our children may be vulnerable to this insidious cyber crime.

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I have to laugh when I ask my daughter to pick up her shoes, and she says, “I’m exhausted. You don’t know what it’s like to sit in school for seven hours a day.”

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Labor Day marks the unofficial end to summer. While the calendar still gives us three more weeks of the season, the heat and humidity of June and July made me wish it away long ago. I’ve been waiting patiently since February for a snowfall. I can’t wait for winter.

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Memories of a trip to the grocery store with my daughters from more than 14 years ago came flooding back to me this week, thanks to a story my husband shared.

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We wandered into this week with our eyes – albeit protected eyes – focused to the sky. Monday’s eclipse was a sight to behold. Equally intriguing, I believe, is the fact that scientists could pinpoint exactly when and where the eclipse would take place, as well as the percentage and length o…

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Every once in a while, my former career in financial planning intersects my parenting. Perhaps that statement is never more true than when it comes to considering how to pay for college. Every semester when the new college bill arrives, I deliberate with my husband in how to help our daughte…

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As another school year begins, a whole new set of “eyes” is on children. Oftentimes, teachers spend more time with our children from Monday through Friday than we get to as parents. As skillful observers, they have witness to a side of our children that we don’t get to see. The classroom, pl…

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I was texting my daughter a few days ago to tell her that I was leaving work to exercise and wouldn’t have my phone with me. As I was typing, I misspelled the word “phone” as “hphone.” My phone’s auto-correct changed the misspelled word to “husband.” So, my sentence read, “I’m going to exerc…

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Over the weekend, my daughter’s summer job at an amusement park was interrupted by a severe thunderstorm. Warnings rang out from the loudspeakers, and employees and guests alike had to take cover for about 30 minutes.

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The tragedies in the United Kingdom recently have sparked questions from children across the nation – questions that don’t come with easy answers.

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Since Rick and I entered parenthood more than 19 years ago, the front panel of our refrigerator is the storyteller of our lives.

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I laughed out loud when Sylvia Plath’s protagonist, Esther, thought to herself that her physician could write a note to the university Dean to say that she was unfit to take chemistry.

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My husband and I treated ourselves to a dinner out last weekend, and enjoyed got a kick out of the little girls sitting across from us. It was a little bit like watching a theatre production of our lives from 15 years ago – “peek-a-boo,” trips to the bathroom, giggles.

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When it comes to prom, I don’t know if it’s the parents who are more anxious or the high schoolers. It’s been a few decades since my prom in the Red Devil gym. Some of the memories have faded, but what I remember of my prom is all of the hype leading up to it.

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I laugh out loud every time I read Garrison Keillor’s tall tales – “My father always said that you can’t plant corn and date women at the same time. It just doesn’t work. You can only do one thing at a time.” Aside from the seemingly missed relevance of corn and dating, this statement holds …

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It was thrilling to wake up last Saturday morning to learn that April’s baby was coming. In case you don’t know her, April is the giraffe who brought the internet world to its knees to monitor the progress of her pregnancy.

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One of the wonders of spring is the new life that blossoms, blooms and flies all around us. So much is to be enjoyed and learned from watching our furry and feathered friends.

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My daughter and I completed our March Madness basketball brackets just as the Big Dance was beginning. I was surprised with some of her underdog win predictions, but her intuition guided her to correctly pick the Final Four. Last year, according to the odds makers, only .09 percent of bracke…

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My daughter and I completed our March Madness basketball brackets just as the Big Dance was beginning. I was surprised with some of her underdog win predictions, but her intuition guided her to correctly pick the Final Four. Last year, according to the odds makers, only .09 percent of bracke…

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While most people have highlighted March 20 on their calendars to mark the first day of spring, my colleagues Beni, Emily, Vanessa and I have highlighted March 29. We wait for this day all year with guarded anticipation – it’s the date of Read La Porte County’s Annual Spell Bowl.

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Loud music and teenagers go together like peas and carrots. For as long as teens have been turning up the dial and rockin’ around the clock, their parents have been shouting, “Turn that down!”

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“The only way for you to keep a secret is not to hear it” Fred Mertz snapped to his wife Ethel. In “I Love Lucy,” the plot relies upon Ethel blabbing about Lucy’s harebrained ideas. When the secret is revealed, laughs abound. And, because it’s Hollywood, everyone lived happily ever after.

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I purchased two new kitty food bowls for Jimmy and Juliet – a blue one and a pink one. For two weeks now, they have eaten only from the blue bowl.

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The calendar hanging above me at Dunebrook notes Feb. 20 as Family Day in Canada. Of course, I had to “google” it to see if it truly is what its name implies – a day to celebrate families (unlike the United Kingdom’s Boxing Day, which is not at all a day for boxing.)

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Have you seen it in the night time sky – the bright, bright glow of Venus? I look at it and can’t help but rattle off to myself, “My Very Eager Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas.” Ask a first grader about the significance of that sentence, and he or she will show off a little astronomy prowe…

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It was many years ago, at about this time of year, that I had a conversation with the executive director from a domestic violence shelter in another community. She said, “You know, our agency sees more new domestic violence victims on Super Bowl Sunday than on any other day of the year.”

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Denmark has it right when it comes to Lego, Hans Christian Andersen and the delectable sweet pastry, the Danish. The nation also has bragging rights when it comes to raising the world’s happiest children; and its next best export may just be sharing the secret of the Danish parenting style.