Archive for the ‘ClubMom’ Category

Welcome Preschool Moms!

October 4, 2007 @ 1:29 pm | Filed under:

I’m seeing a lot of visitors today from the link in ClubMom’s Preschoolers newsletter. Welcome! We’re pretty much in perpetual preschool mode around here, no matter what else is going on.


Here is our current three-and-a-half-year-old. He’s an adventure! You can read more about him here.

He is surrounded by sisters: three above, one below. (The day he was born, when I called my mom from the hospital to tell her to give my girls the news that they had a brother, I heard an audible gasp in the background, and then Rose, then six years old, shouted, "He can be the KING!" She’d been in need of a boy to round out the make-believe casting pool. Thus was his position firmly established from the beginning. Although these days, his antics are so hilarious he’s more like the court jester. Young Rilla, our 18-month-old, has usurped the throne for now.)

Here are some posts about Early Childhood Education. And I’ve written lots of picture book reviews at my author site, Here in the Bonny Glen. Enjoy!

UPDATED TO ADD this link: Preschoolers and Proper Pencil Grip. It wasn’t properly labeled before, sorry!

Beauty is in the Eye of the Three-Year-Old Beholder

July 20, 2007 @ 9:42 am | Filed under:

So my college friends thought I looked a little like Cyndi Lauper. What of it? Wonderboy thinks I’m a timeless beauty. Just now I was reading a USA Today article on Harry Potter, and Wonderboy (in my arms enjoying his morning snuggle) kept pointing to the screen and saying "There’s Mommy!"

It took me a while to realize he was referring to the picture of Nefertiti in a book ad.

Two of my fellow ClubMom bloggers, Tracey of Picture This and Sheri of Little Zygote, are holding a photo contest for kids. It’s called "A Little Perspective" and is for pictures taken by kids 13 and under. Contest details are here. I have a whole file on my computer for the amazing pictures taken by my kids. I love to see how they frame the world. The banner photo at Bonny Glen Up Close is Beanie’s foot, snapped by Beanie, and that is one of my most favorite pictures ever. I confess to also being quite fond of the picture Jane recently took of me and my two littlest ones, the one that is now my sidebar photo over at Bonny Glen.  It’s always nice (and sort of rare, at least in my case) to get a picture where you’re really happy with the way you look. I have a tendency to grin too big in photos and I wind up looking like a gremlin. Or Cyndi Lauper. But that’s okay, because when my son looks at me he sees Nefertiti.

Things I Have in Common with the Duchess of York

November 7, 2006 @ 12:10 pm | Filed under: ,

1) We are both ClubMom bloggers. Did you notice? In the sidebar? There’s a new name in the MomBlog lineup: the Duchess Diaries. Sarah Ferguson—that’s right: Fergie—has joined the club. She is going to blog her adventures as she tours several countries for World Children’s Day to raise funds for the Ronald McDonald House Charities. (See #3.)

2) We have both made public appearances at the Country Glen Shopping Center on Long Island. Mine was a booksigning at the Barnes & Noble, and Fergie’s was (I think) at the Weight Watcher’s there.

3) We are both big fans of the Ronald McDonald House. I’m one of those people whose burden was made lighter, more bearable, by the existence of the sanctuary that is the Ronald McDonald House. And not just once: many, many times. When Jane was first diagnosed with leukemia in 1997, the RMH next door to her children’s hospital was the only place I could go to grab a shower. For nine months—nine!—I slipped over to the House a couple of times a week for a hot shower and a snack. The folks who ran the house always had fresh-baked cookies waiting on the counter, and there were large refrigerators stocked with milk and juice and all sorts of other things.

Families who were staying there long-term would cook dinner in the communal kitchen, using the groceries provided by the House staff, and everyone shared the leftovers. The House was a place of refuge from the overpriced fast food available in the hospital lobby, a place to do laundry, a place to meet other moms and dads and children who were going through rocky times themselves.

Rose was born in the summer of 1998, months after Jane had finished the high-dose, in-patient part of her treatment and we were back at home in our Queens apartment. But just four days after Rose’s birth, Jane spiked a fever and had to be re-admitted. She developed a serious case of pneumonia and wound up spending two weeks in the hospital. Two weeks! I felt torn in two. I was nursing a newborn and couldn’t leave her, but how could I stay away from my little Jane?

Up to that point, I had slept beside her in her hospital bed for every night of every admission. This time, it was Scott who stayed with her at night. I couldn’t bear to be too far away, though. The nurses reserved me a room at the Ronald McDonald House. Tiny Rose and I spent our nights there, just across the parking lot from Scott and Jane. Every morning I hurried next door to the hospital and spent the day bouncing between Jane on the cancer ward and Rose in a small library room just down the hall, where the bighearted nurses had fixed me up a little nursery with a rocking chair and bassinet borrowed from Maternity. And every morning on my way out the door, the nice Ronald McDonald House manager stopped me at the threshold and insisted that I grab a bite of breakfast before I took up my post at the hospital.

You see, the House is more than just a place to sleep; it’s a place where the families of sick children are nurtured, just as they in turn are nurturing their little ones. Scott and I stayed at another Ronald McDonald House in December of 2003, when our Wonderboy was born and surprised us all by requiring surgery right away. My folks were at home with our girls, and Scott and I found ourselves back on familiar ground, even though now we were in a different state. The room itself was a comfort to me. It reminded me of ordeals we’d survived before, and helped me believe we’d get through this one all right too. Because the House was just down the road from the hospital, I was able to go back and forth to the NICU every few hours to nurse my baby boy, and still manage to squeeze in a little much-needed sleep.

Some families must travel great distances to reach a good hospital, and paying for long-term hotel stays could quickly put them into financial peril. The extenuating expenses of having a child with serious medical needs can be frightful. At the RMH, families pay a nominal fee if they can afford it. It’s far less than a hotel bill.

And the House is far more than a hotel. There is peace and cheer within its walls. There is rest, and hope, and help.

That’s why I’m so glad to know someone like Fergie is speaking out on its behalf, and I’m proud to be in her company here at ClubMom.

An Alert a Day Keeps the Email, um, Coming

September 6, 2006 @ 10:49 am | Filed under:

The other day I mentioned that ClubMom is offering a nifty Daily Alert email to let you know when your favorite ClubMom blogs have updated. Well, now they’re offering incentive for you to subscribe to your very most favoritest MomBlogs, hint hint. If you 1) join ClubMom (it’s free!) and 2) subscribe to the daily alert (by the end of September), you get 50 ClubMom points. Rack up enough ClubMom points and you can go shopping at actual (well, virtual) stores like Lands End and Barnes & Noble.

There are also prizes being awarded to the ClubMom bloggers who wind up with the most daily alert subscribers at the end of the month, but to be perfectly honest (in, um, a hyperbolic and metaphorical way), competition gives me hives. So let’s just forget about that part, shall we?

Click here to join ClubMom. Then you can set up a profile in the MomNetwork and do all kinds of fun stuff.

Click here to subscribe to the Daily Alert email.  It’s like having me email you every time I update, only without the obnoxiousness. And if you already subscribe via Bloglines, you can still sign up for the email alerts to get your 50 ClubMom points!

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Updates by Email!

August 20, 2006 @ 4:22 pm | Filed under:

ClubMom has added some nifty new features to the MomBlogs section, including a way for you to subscribe to a daily alert email that will let you know when there’s a new post at, say—just to throw a random example out there—The Lilting House. See the link over there in the sidebar? Handy-dandy.

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A $50 Tip

August 17, 2006 @ 6:41 pm | Filed under:

Nope, I don’t mean what I used to dream of during my days as a waitress at Friendly’s. (Tangent: I was a TERRIBLE waitress. Spilled a lot of ice waters. Had to make three times as many trips back and forth to the kitchen as the other waitresses because I was too spaghetti-armed to carry a tray full of plates. The day I quit, I felt like Scarlett O’Hara: "As God is my witness, I will never wait tables again!" So of course I got married and had a bunch of younguns on whom I wait at table several times a day. And LIKE it. Go figure.)

No, what I’m talking about here (besides long-gone ice-cream-and-burger-schlepping days) is a Very Enticing Contest being held by Amanda at The Naked Ledger. She is offering a $50 gift card (your choice of vendor—the list is long) for the person who submits the best budgeting tip. The judge: her husband Dave. So pony up the advice, my dears. I know what a smart, frugal bunch you are.

I’m trying to think if I have any budgeting advice. Nope, it turns out I don’t. But I can advise you on excellent books to read about Fictional People Who Are Thrifty Yet Likeable. So if you hear of any contests offering prizes for that, please let me know.

Gosh, You Guys, I’m Blushing

June 29, 2006 @ 1:37 pm | Filed under:

Wow. This is one of those days when you keep tripping over your own name all over the internet, and you feel so strange, like you’re eavesdropping except you aren’t. First it was the nice surprise at Loni’s blog, and then it was a very sweet post by Tracey. Thanks, both of you, for the uplift.

One of the most enjoyable aspects of this new ClubMom gig so far is the growing sense of community among the bloggers and our readers. Which I suppose is the whole point; the goal of the MomBlogs and the MomNetwork, as I understand it, is to build connections between moms around the world. And I really value that kind of connection, because internet friendships have broadened my horizons and bolstered my spirits; they have expanded my understanding, sparked my enthusiasm, warmed my heart, and fostered my sense of compassion. Some of the women I met on the CCM list years ago, and the AOL baby boards before that, have become real-life friends I can’t imagine doing without. And in the past year I’ve made a whole new crop of pals (along with many old ones) (that phrase needs a lot more words for me to link to) at the 4Real boards. Now there are new friends here in the making among the readers and writers of ClubMom.

This is an immensely reassuring thing to know when, hypothetically, your family is suddenly (and hypothetically) contemplating a hypothetical move to the other side of the non-hypothetical country. Since you all live inside my computer, I can take you anywhere I (hypothetically) go.

Today I noticed some new names in the ClubMom blogroll:

Fast Times at Homeschool High
Two Peas in an (i)Pod
Three Sons and a Princess
Stop the World – I Want to Get Off
Mommy, Are the Toys on Sale?

Take a (non-hypothetical) journey to their blogs and make some new friends.

How Very Nice!

June 8, 2006 @ 5:52 pm | Filed under:

ClubMom blogger Loni of Finding Joy in the Morning runs a weekly “Thursday’s Child” feature in which she highlights one homeschooling mom, and much to my surprise, this week she has chosen me. Thank you, Loni—what an honor!

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