Kitty etiquette question…

Just bumped into this query on a public relations service and thought it was interesting: I’m seeking an etiquette expert (someone who has an etiquette-related Web site, foundation or book) who can provide smart advice about the following situation for a reader Q&A page: “A friend’s cat is extremely affectionate and always curls up on my lap when I visit. The problem is, it makes me feel uncomfortable. How can I tell her to restrain…Read More

Innovation: A stuffed animal with a built-in pacifier?

Got this from a public relations firm: “Pacimals are pacifiers that attach to a plush stuffed toy. Created by an MD and a mom, the patented attachment on the Pacimal gives your baby’s favorite stuffed animal a special role in his or her soothing experience. It helps boost baby’s motor skills at a much younger age by encouraging hand and arm use to reposition. It’s also easier to hold onto, unlike typical pacifiers. MSRP is…Read More

Ah, I screwed up: How would you resolve the problem?

Alright, I admit, sometimes I get caught in the middle and find that just about any possible solution to a situation is going to inevitably cause unhappiness with one of my children, and that’s just where I am this evening. Read on, and tell me if you think my proposed solution is best, or whether you have a smarter idea… First off, G- and A- (7yo boy and 11yo girl, respectively) are both very concerned…Read More

The kids definitely say “Happy Hannukah!”

My parents scored big-time with the kids this year as we had a rather disjointed Hannukah but some happy little ones. G- (7yo) got a youth golf glove (he loves spending time on the driving range) and a Cranium game called “Ballpark Blast”, A- (11yo) got “Herd Your Horses!”, a fairly complicated board game that she was thrilled about since her best friend has the game and they love playing it, and K- (the 3yo,…Read More

Is there such a thing as “REM motion”?

Last night while putting my 3yo daughter to bed, I noticed once again that as she fell asleep, her hands twitched slightly for a minute or two. If was definitely different than her “I’m not asleep yet, just breathing slowly” hand motions that she had exhibited just a few minutes earlier, trying to get comfortable and slow down. I know about the stages of sleep, and I’ve certainly seen my dogs twitching and moving about…Read More

Very cool job: Executive Director of the Men’s Leadership Alliance

I’ve been slowly but surely getting involved in a local Boulder organization called the Men’s Leadership Alliance and it’s proven a great organization. I’ve attended two retreats, one camping, and one in a local mountain lodge, and the quality of interaction and depth of discussion far outstrips anything else I’ve done with other men. By itself, it’s well worth checking out if you’re looking for an avenue to connect with other men (or if your…Read More

Should children face their fears, or avoid scary stuff?

My 11yo daugher A- had a really hard time going to sleep last night because she had been reading a fairly scary book (well, a fairly innocuous book with a scary passage. I mean, how scary can a book about unicorns be?) and was afraid she’d have bad dreams. This lead me to wonder about something: when should we encourage our children to do things that are scary and might stimulate nightmares and when should…Read More

Yech! Men never wash their hands in the bathroom!

I haven’t spent much time in the women’s room at airports or restaurants (which is probably one way I’ve avoided going to jail! 🙂 but I have to say that it’s pretty gross how infrequently men wash their hands after going to the bathroom. I’m not just talking about one guy every so often finishing up and walking out without a quick rinse, I’ve observed that at least half the men I see after they’ve…Read More

Do most kids actually eat all the Halloween candy they get?

I know it’s not just us because I’ve seen some cartoons in the comics poking fun at children and Halloween candy, but holy cow, it appears that people are getting more and more generous each year with their handouts. Last year our kids went around the block and got about half a plastic pumpkin worth of candy. This year, for more or less the same amount of territory, they were full to the brim, an…Read More

Custody and separation: Where do the children play?

A startling number of my friends are going through separations or divorce currently, and I’m surprised at the variations on child custody that seem to be cropping up. I realize that like many things, there’s no “right” answer, but I thought it would be an interesting discussion to talk about different arrangements and the benefits and disadvantages of each. First off, I should say that I believe that the parents sticking together is always best…Read More

Dress up as a “dementor”, screw up your soul forever

While looking for something completely different, I just bumped into some of the halloween costumes for the upcoming All Hallow’s Eve celebration this year (it’s only two months away!) Along with the usual pirate, fairy and princess costumes are some Harry Potter theme costumes, including one that just left my mouth hanging open. Yes, you could dress you child up as a dementor from the Harry Potter universe. Not a fan of the books? Let…Read More

Finally, school starts up!

At the risk of sounding like a parent who doesn’t enjoy my kids, I have to say that I am so glad to know that school is starting for all three of our kids. It’s been a great summer, but it’s also been a long summer, what with travel and various family issues. Further, this is a big transition year as our 7yo, G-, is going into first grade this year, so he’s leaving the…Read More

Why is that name so familiar? The serendipity of blogging

Got a great story from my sister about blogging and how it expands your reach. She runs the terrific Artdolls weblog and relates: “Something fun happened to me today. I received a comment on my blog and I thought the name was familiar so I checked out the person’s website. She is a ‘professional artist’ and I knew her name but why? No bells went off. Then after an hour or two a bell did…Read More

Are we the lone holdouts from the Nintendo generation?

The more we travel and the more I interact with kids of other families, the more I wonder whether we have a pocket of quasi-Luddites, veritable Amish families who are actually hurting their children by turning our collective backs on the marvels of modern technology and electronic gizmos. From restaurants to hiking trails, us parents seem to be moving into our own bubbles with our cellphones, PDAs, portable Internet devices (read “iPhone”) and other gadgets….Read More