Eeking Out All The Time We Can Get

My mornings have transformed. My kids are in the same school again, which is a 3 minute drive from my house. What used to be an hour-long commute/drop-off now  takes 20 minutes tops. What has surprised me is how much we have managed to cram into those 3 minutes. This week alone Chloe read an entire book to me. We had some ‘deep’ conversations spurred on by the yogurt tops from breakfast about “what would make today good?” And we even sang one morning. As a busy working mom,

What's the Real Story?

So last week, was a tough one. I ended up having to work most of the weekend, traveled for two nights, and then had two work night events. I missed back to school night, the first soccer game, and the school picnic. I usually don't feel guilty, but honestly, I was beating myself up. On the one night that I did have with my kids, we were discussing why they felt they were special. Both of them in their top two reasons said a version of "because I have the best mom in the world

Fun with Science for the Weekend

My kids love science. Hell, so do I. The world is an incredible place to discover. Here are a few super-easy projects you can do with items most likely in your house already: Transform an egg. Place an egg into a jar of vinegar in your fridge for three days to see the transformation. The easiest experiment ever. Make butter. Just put heavy cream and a marble into a small jar and shake. In under 10 minutes, you will have homemade butter for everyone to enjoy. Make Oobleck, a s

Chocolate therapy

I loved the Zen Den (kid mindfulness YouTube videos) that the kids and I did before bed last night -- Taste Test. We each took a small piece of chocolate and savored it. First, we looked at it, noticing all the little details. Then smelled it. Then put it in our mouth and finally chewed. The whole exercise took around four minutes. Even though the piece was tiny (we’re talking under 20 calories), the ritual made me enjoy it more than if I had eaten a whole bar. The afte

Yes, My Kids Ate Bugs

A big goal of mine is to create memories for my kids. I want them to have adventures, laughs, and new experiences—both big and small. Memories don't have to be hard or involved. For example, on my last business trip (to Mexico), I just brought home some crazy food, like crickets, that I encountered. This led to a hilarious bug tasting and so many laughs—watch below. It literally took me 30-seconds to grab and wrap up the critters. Creating memories makes our limited ti

Really See Them

A friend, Margot Machol Bisnow, wrote a great book on Raising an Entrepreneur, where she interviewed parents and entrepreneurs to glean parenting best practices. My favorite advice from her? Truly see your children, not the version of them you want to see. Kids are sharp. They know when you do this. In the hustle of daily life, this act can easily get lost. Here is a trick—do it once a month on the date of their birthday. For example, the 16th of each month, you could take

Get on the Floor

One of my worst habits is trying to multi-task while hanging with my kids. Yes, I get a lot done, but I can feel their desire for 100% of my attention. The more I do it, the more they act out. The cool thing is that as my kids are now 3 and 5, playing with them is pretty fun. Last weekend, we built a 3D turtle out of Magna Tiles. It was pretty epic. So today, embrace your inner child. Find something that both you and your kids would find fun—drawing, doing puzzles, ma

Go on a Weeknight Adventure

I started noticing that our weeknights were getting monotonous. Dinner, a few puzzles or games, and then the bedtime routine. I felt drained and uninspired. To liven things up, I've started instituting a weeknight family adventure once a week. This week's was bowling. It was so fun. Rowan (our three-year-old) won although Chloe had a valiant come back with a spare in frame 10 and losing by one pin. What do your weeknights look like? Can you spice them up by creating s

Take the Best Parts

Last weekend, we planned to take the kids camping. Then the weather report forecasted lows in the thirties. I was nervous about disappointing the kids, but that sounded like a miserable proposition. In enterprising mom fashion, I asked, "What were going to be the highlights of the trip?" Smores, fires, and hiking. None of these required sleeping in the cold. So, we took the best parts. We set up the fire pit in our backyard. Roasted marshmallows and hot dogs. Then we woke up

How Was Your Day?

When Chloe started Kindergarten, she stopped wanting to talk about school. She stares at me blankly when I ask, 'How was your day?' I'm sad to be cut off. Luckily, Rowan's school sent home questions for amping up our family conversations, which break through with her. Here are some of my favorites: What was the best thing that happened at school today? What was the worst thing that happened at school today? What was the hardest thing you had to do today? What made you laugh t

The Modern Mom's Baby Book

My favorite Google ad is Dear Sophie, the touching story of parents who documented their daughter's life by sending her emails to Gmail. If you haven't seen it, prepare for a few tears. Alexis Jhamb—who has the coolest title, GM of Decision Making at Chevron—did something similar. She made an email address for her son, sending him 'letters' about what he's doing and how she feels about him. "It's like a 1-way private conversation with our son. I discovered that when my father

Happy Children Do Chores

I appreciate how Montessori schools encourage kids to help around the house. My kids especially love vacuuming and cooking. Involving my kids increases my quality time with them and instills our family values of independence and hard work. No one is going to dispute that chores are good for kids, but I was shocked to read a longitudinal study that found the best predictor for young adults' success in their mid-20s was whether they participated in household tasks at 3 or 4. Wa

Make Your Own Magic

The genesis of our trip to Europe was a visit with my 93-year-old Aunt Shelia, who is a nun and a talented artist. She's lived a fascinating life, meeting the Beatles, the Queen, and the Pope. My kids needed to meet her. As soon the door closed on our lovely visit, though, I started to sob. I wanted her to be a part of my regular life, not just one-off visits. My heart ached with how much I missed her. Then it hit me. I was looking at this too narrowly. There are other ways b

Learn from My Travel Mistakes

We had an incredible time on our recent European vacation, but even the best family vacations are challenging. Looking back, here's what I would have done differently: Bring a stroller for each kid. I'm a minimalist traveler, but I will probably bring a stroller for each kid until they are seven or so. Kid's legs get tired. Moreover, we could have extended each night by having the kids fall asleep in them while we hung out. Buy kids melatonin. It was only after 2.5 hours of t

What It's All About

I am on the plane home from my favorite vacation of my life. Joe and I took the kids to Europe for a week, a whirlwind trip to Liverpool, Nice, and Geneva. No sitters. No fancy resorts. No plans. Just the four of us, discovering the world together. These moments are what being a parent is all about.  I was able to share one of my favorite activities (discovering new places) with my kids. I'll confess, we didn't see 'the sights.' I have lists of ignored recommendations. Instea

Take a Family Walk

Joe signed us up for life insurance that gets cheaper the more healthy habits we do. We're suckers for gamification and have become obsessed with getting in our steps. So, we've started going on post-dinner family walks. I cannot tell you the amount of joy this simple act gives me. It forces us to put away our phones. Helps us connect with our neighbors that we bump into along the way. And, provides us with a chance to appreciate the little things. It's fun seeing bunnies or

It's Not All or Nothing

On Tuesday, Chloe's school went on a blueberry picking field trip. I signed up to volunteer - excited to spend the morning with her. On Monday, I looked at my calendar and the panic set in. I had too much work to fit in a 5-hour weekday excursion. The school had enough chaperones without me, so I canceled. I felt horrible. Guilt created a story about how disappointed Chloe would be. I sat her down in the Living Room for the 'big discussion,' preparing for tears. It turns out

I Totally Teared Up During Frozen on Broadway

My in-laws gave Chloe the best birthday present - a day trip to NYC to see Frozen, the musical. A dream for a five-year-old who wears head to toe Elsa attire, including shoes. I extended my parts of the trip for business and took off an afternoon to join them on this adventure.  I mean, how could I miss this? Long story short. I cried multiple times -- so happy to see her joy. She was giddy with excitement and glowed. As much as I love micro-moments with my kids, you can't un

Playing by Chloe's Rules

Was playing War with Chloe last weekend and she asked me, "Why do Kings beat Queens?" Good question. We changed the rules and, in our family, Queens now rank higher than Kings. Because, why not? #girlpower #familytime #parenting

Make the Most of It

After kid number two, my husband and I have entirely dropped the ball with our little dog. He used to be our Holiday card and now doesn't even have a cameo. But, today was a new low. We left Dexter at my mom's shore house and didn't notice until we were 90 minutes out. In a blink, a 4-hour drive was now over 7 hours. This could have ruined an otherwise excellent weekend, but I took a deep breath and got creative. I had Joe drop us off at a nearby mall where there was miraculo