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Working on growing up

I spent all summer avoiding thinking about work, and now summer is over and I have to be an adult again. Being an adult is highly overrated.

It turns out that if you’re trying to shepherd a couple of kids toward adulthood, though, you kind of have to have a grasp of it, yourself. At least, that’s the idea. So I keep working on it, FOR THE CHILDREN, even though I would much rather… read a book, or bake something, or bathe my cat. And you know I’m allergic to cats (even the imaginary ones I don’t really own).

We spend a lot of time talking about our kids growing up and changing, and not a lot of time talking about how our lives and goals and callings tend to change right alongside them as we’re busy focusing on their needs. Maybe I’m just having a mid-life crisis, but I’m doing a bit of “what’s next?” over her and wondering if I truly know what I want to be when I grow up. I don’t have the answer (yet), but over at Alpha Mom I can at least tell you that I am for sure in good company in my confusion.

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Still recovering, but…

… it’s a good day, y’know? I like rainbows and they seem to be everywhere.

So just a quickie redirect, today: I thought folks would be tired of hearing about teaching a kid to drive, but I got a question about it at Alpha Mom, so check it out if you’re in that stage of life. (Spoiler: No, holding the dashboard with one hand and your face with the other is not the proper driver training position.)

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… but I play one on the Internet

So I told my children this morning that I was going to be writing an advice column for Alpha Mom as a “teen expert,” fully expecting them to laugh and laugh, but instead they both just looked… puzzled. Like, it wasn’t even FUNNY that I’m pretending to know what I’m doing, it’s just SUPER PERPLEXING. [Is your ego getting out of hand? Try TEENAGERS! They’ll knock you down a few pegs in no time!]

Nevertheless, we’re forging ahead (thanks, in part, to your positive support when I first asked if you’d read it), and the first one is up today. Woohoo! You can hop on over there to read about transitioning your ADHD kid to middle school, which is a scary proposition under even the best of circumstances.

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Dorkin’ it up, travel edition

So, some of you know that about 8 months ago I took a new job. This turned into An Actual Grown Up Job Job (as opposed to Sure It’s A Grown Up Freelance Job But Pants Are Still Optional Job), and that’s the very abbreviated version of how yours truly, possibly the crankiest person to walk the planet, totally ended up drinking the Happier Kool-Aid. It’s awesome.

Less awesome: Happier is in Boston, and I live 1,000 miles away. Boston is great, but Georgia is where I keep all my stuff and my dogs and my family, so up until now I have spent a lot of time on Google Hangouts with my coworkers, trying to stay in the loop on everything while my dogs seized every conference opportunity to decide to bark at nothing.

So! The planets finally aligned and we planned a trip for me to come to headquarters. (That’s a lie; the planets never align, but basically I bought a plane ticket and wrote MOM IS GONE; GO ASK OTTO on the family calendar and called it good.) At long last, yesterday it was time to leave. My excitement wasn’t even overshadowed by the knowledge that I was likely to do any number of stupid things on my way; I was THAT excited.

But of course I did manage to make the most of my trip. (more…)

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Ready, set, read

Perhaps my favorite yearly assignment in writing for Alpha Mom is the chance to do a summer reading round-up—nothing makes a bookworm happier than talking books, after all, except maybe talking books that are shaping the next generation of bookworms.

[Aside: I am so glad my kids love to read. I’m also glad they’ve developed such excellent taste in books that I find myself reading their picks more often than not. It’s like having a couple of librarians in-house, albeit somewhat cranky and messy librarians.]

Without further ado, I’m pleased to offer up this year’s summer reading round-up for teens, with thanks to my kids for letting me borrow their books. Also, endless thanks to the Powers That Be that I don’t have to contend with anyone reading Twilight or anything else that would just make me sad.

Come on over and tell us what you and your kids are reading, too. We’re always happy to have more recommendations!

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Kind of like real grown-ups

I went to Mom 2.0 this past weekend, and it was a verrrry interesting trip for me. In 10 years (!!) of blogging and freelancing and working for various clients, this is the first time I’ve gone to a conference as a representative of my employer rather than as just a freelancer looking for work, and that was very different. I’m still adjusting to this new phase of my career and still kind of looking around and going, “Is this my life? Are you SURE?” It’s all awesome, but I don’t know if you’ve maybe noticed that I’m not always so good with change…? Shocking, I know. It’s a secret. Don’t tell.

Anyway. In addition to the work weirdness of it all, Otto was busy being SuperDad (er, SuperStepDad?) here at home, which made my job about 10000% easier. The kids even seemed to still like him when I returned, so I feel confident in declaring him to have magical powers. And of course, I wrote about it for Alpha Mom, too.

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The best-laid plans

Or, Things I did wrong recently.

Or, Life is hard because I am dumb.

Or, Allow me to make you feel better about your life choices.

I keep telling myself that I should just come over here and post some dog pictures and call it a day—after all, who needs content when you have furballs, right?—but it hasn’t happened and now all of that procrastination has paid off, because it turns out that while no one day has been blog-worthy, lately, taken in sum total I have a veritable epic of life-and-how-to-do-it-wrong to share.

Every day is a new opportunity to do something else stupid, as I always say. (I never say that. I should, though.) Without further ado, various illustrations of my suitability (or lack thereof) as a functional adult: (more…)

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Something of a crossroads

When we last spoke (I know, I know; we don’t really speak so much as I type and sometimes you comment, but “when we last spoke” feels more mellifluous than “the last time I bothered to post something”), nearly a week ago, I was a few days in to the latest Germfest, which continued to permeate every corner of our family and house at an alarming rate. Yesterday I still felt like my death might be imminent, but I dragged myself around the house Cleaning Everything (again!) and washing sheets and opening doors (it was a beautiful day, not that it matters when you’re busy trying not to die) and praying for a general restoration of health here at Casa Mir.

At the same time I was having myself a jolly little existential crisis about work and life and my children and my marriage—when I have a crisis, I like to do it up, after all—and thus have I arrived at this particular Monday morning: tired, still sick, about five pounds lighter than I was last week, and panicked about… pretty much everything.

Here let us pause while I assure you that everything is fine. Mostly. Kind of. As my father loves to remind me, my life is never boring. And our challenges often feel unsurmountable, sure, but in the grand scheme of what is truly bearable in a life, I should not complain. I know this. (more…)

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Happy post-Thanksgiving!

Black Friday is my day to get up wayyyyy too early and dish out the deals all day long over at Want Not. Just picture me in a long, flowing cape (I mean, I’m wearing my polka-dotted robe, and that’s practically the same thing…), bravely saving humanity from having to go out into the world to join the shopping madness, today. It’s a public service, really.

Our Thanksgiving was lovely. We had good friends, good food, and I was curious to see how Duncan would do with a houseful of people. As it was, we ate in the dining room while both dogs paced around the table, ever vigilant and hopeful. It was rather like being stalked by two small, furry sharks. Only more adorable and less terrifying.

While I’m busy shopping, you could head over to Alpha Mom to see what you should be doing with your Thanksgiving leftovers. I have an ulterior motive, really; I want some new recipes, and I suspect that will cause at least a few of you to offer up some goodies. Come lay it on me.

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If you need some distractions

Yep, I know what today is. Nope, not gonna talk about it. There are plenty of places you can go to get that, today.

What I’m offering, instead, is two different distractions if you need ’em. Because YAY, shiny and less-depressing things!

First: My latest post at Alpha Mom is all about teaching teens to think about money, even though mostly what my teens think about money is, “Mom should give us more of it.”

Second: I’ve been given the privilege of doing some collaboration with the National Center for Learning Disabilities, which does all sorts of awesome things (and I would say that even if I wasn’t working with them). I think that when you say “learning disability” most people think “dyslexia,” even though there’s a plethora of learning differences which includes things like ADHD, Autism Spectrum disorders, and more. The NCLD is interested in hearing more from other parents. If you have a child with a learning difference, what types of resources would you find most helpful in making sure your child receives the best education possible? Everything shared here will be passed along to the NCLD to assist them in improving their offerings. (Please share this feedback opportunity with others who might have something to say, too, even if they’re not blog readers. All input welcome!)

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