Monthly Archives: October 2018

Take note

It happens less and less these days – receiving a hand-written personal note in the mail.

But when or if it does, it can be a very special moment – a surprise gift..

I received one recently from a person who told me how much she enjoys reading my blog.  It was one blog in particular about ironing that moved her to share her own personal memories that ironing played in her life – both as a child and a mom herself.

It was lovely.

I was moved, delighted and grateful to hear her story and to feel this bond that was made.

Last week I heard journalist Laura Ling speak at The Women’s Fund Fall Luncheon at UWL.  Laura Ling had been held captive in a North Korean prison – and she spoke of the challenges and fear she faced.

And when she shared what her “take away” was from that horrifying experience, she said it comes down to the little moments in life that we share with people that can actually make the biggest difference.

And one of the things she mentioned was to acknowledge others with a personal note – a rare but beautiful act of kindness and connection.

And so I’ve been thinking, how, as parents, we might be missing a golden opportunity with our children – to read our words … see our handwriting …feel our caring   … read it once … read it twice… put it away to maybe read again … save it … remember it.

A brief warm treasure of sharing – of affection..

Take note.

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ode to joy

I had heard that the Harvest Parade in the small town of Viroqua was special.  This year I got to see it for myself.

On a blustery but sunshiny afternoon, we gathered with others along the Main Street and waited for what turned out to be twenty minutes of sheer delight.

This was a people-powered parade ending at the local park for more fun and festivities.  There were no big floats, firetrucks, no public politics or advertisements, no convertibles with dignitaries or beauty queens.

But there were village people galore,  dressed in harvest -themed, homemade creative colorful costumes, towering stilt walkers, and gigantic handmade puppets, children of all ages – lots of them – with parents all decked out to honor Fall’s bounty, unicyclists, scooters, bikes, and a lively ragtime band bringing up the rear.

Watching this joyful display of merriment made one forget the challenging news of the day – and, instead, feel happy, carefree, grateful.  And those who participated in the parade made this happen for us –  just by loving every minute of it themselves.

This was a time for every man, woman, and child to recall how to be playful, to celebrate in this simple, innocent, creative, community way.

And so I encourage all of us parents, grandparents, childcare providers, and teachers to find their own ways to celebrate with their children – to march, run, skip, chase, kick balls,  be silly, hide and seek, and shriek with glee when found.

Together, let’s pay homage to the innocence of children- of playing together.

Our own ‘ode to joy’!


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family feud

I hear frequently from parents about how to keep their children from fighting with one another.

Yes – if there are siblings in your family – you have probably faced the squabbling, the teasing, the hitting, the taking toys away, the “you can’t play with me” woes of sibling rivalry.

So what is a parent to do?

I always love the answer to two siblings who are about to share a piece of cake.  One child immediately says “I get to cut it” wisely planning a bigger piece for himself.  But instead… backfire … the parent decides then that the other child gets to choose which piece he wants first.


When sibling conflict is happening at home, most parents’ first instinct is to get involved – stop the behavior – set down the rule.  However, from what I hear, in spite of this, the conflicts don’t often stop there.

Sometimes constant fixing and stopping and accusing from the adults in the  child’s life leads to more aggression and bad feelings from a child who is actually in need of more positive attention.  If you notice one child is on a negative streak with his/her sibling, that child could very likely be feeling insecure in his place in the family – and may need you to help him feel more connected.

Touching base individually daily with each child – if only for a few minutes – shared listening, playing, laughing, eye contact can often be the best medicine for making sure a sibling cup is full.

Also, playing games where siblings team up together – like chasing Dad- or being timed to see how fast they can get all the toys picked up  – shows them how playing/laughing/working together can actually be fun.

For sure notice the caring side – when you see a helpful sweet gesture from one to the other – mention it – as we all know what we notice most is what we see more of.

There’s nothing better than growing up together as siblings – learning how to get along, to share, to laugh,to love.

All while avoiding family feuds.

EXCEPT :   Not The La Crosse Family Feud presented by The Parenting Place, on October 17, 2018 at the Weber Center for the Performing Arts.  Doors open at 5:30 PM for social time/the Feud to follow.  $10 pre-sale admission/$15 day of. Dinner included/ Cash Bar. Buy your tickets at The Parenting Place, Festival Foods,  online, or at the door.

This is a family feud you’ll love!




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Jeepers Creepers

Ever since Heather and I came up with the name Jeepers Creepers for our Fall Fun morning at The Parenting Place, it began to happen.

Whenever I start to think about it, I just want to burst into song.

Now – you may not be familiar with this tune – I mean, it’s quite an oldie  – even by my standards.  But … here we go …

“Jeepers Creepers, where’d ya get those peepers,

Jeepers Creepers, where’d ya get those eyes?

Where’d ya get those eyes?”

I think that was sung to me when I was a little girl and I also have a vague memory of having  piano sheet music of the song also.

It’s a very fun tune to sing. I know Tootsie enjoys it when I sing it to her  –  and  it’s a perfect song for any wide-eyed baby to enjoy.

But no worry – I’ll try and contain myself at the Jeepers Creepers Fall Fun Morning coming up on Saturday, October 13th at The Parenting Place from 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM.

Registration is necessary by phone or on-line – and it’s filling up fast!

So don’t forget – it’s almost Halloween – and there’ll be fun in the “scare”!

And I promise it won’t be me singing.

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