How Do You Get Your Kid To Practice Playing Their Instrument?

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By Jillian Lauren Tariku loves music. He’s a terrific drummer and an even better dancer. But lately his music lessons have been becoming more and more of a pain, with whining and wheedling and foot-dragging and falling off the piano bench onto the floor once every 30 seconds. Even with Scott’s monk-like patience, it’s enough […]

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Shadow Puppets: When The Stuffed Animals Get More Time-Outs Than The Kid

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By Jillian Lauren I’m having a challenging time balancing my upcoming book release with my mommy-ing… Add homeschooling Tariku’s stuffed animals, and my schedule is way overbooked. Here’s a picture of Tigey and Willie doing their math homework. Tariku is very serious about their education. He wrote out a whole schedule for me (Monday: Library, […]

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Travel Guilt

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By Jillian Lauren Yeah, I’m gonna talk about that tired old subject: being a working mom… I was in upstate NY last weekend for the Woodstock Writers Festival, which was an absolute delight (Thanks, Martha Frankel! And for the photo, Kevin Buso). Compared to many moms I know, I go out of town on business […]

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Why I Sing Loudly At Whole Foods

How to deal with tantrums in public places

By Jillian Lauren “She used to sing musical theater loud in the grocery store,” said Scott, when we and the other people in our foster parent training were talking about what sort of strategies we might use to address public tantrums. “I did?” I asked. “Don’t you remember that?” he seemed shocked. “Oh yeah, I […]

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Unplugging While Throwing A Birthday Party

Unplugged and planning a party

By Jillian Lauren My little man turned seven Friday. Add your own cliche about time here. It’ll be true. It’s all true. These milestones never fail to blow me away. Here’s a belated birthday party picture dump, because I was (supposedly) observing the National Day of Unplugging while throwing a party for 80 people. Why […]

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Our Experience With Foster Care/Adoption Training

Jillian Lauren

By Jillian Lauren Scott and I spent the last two weekends getting our foster care training certificate through a private agency called Five Acres. The Five Acres mission is to provide safety, well-being and permanency to children and families in crisis. We were inspired in part by the journey of our friends Shawna Kenney and […]

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To My Son On His Gotcha Day 2015

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By Jillian Lauren   It was T’s “Gotcha Day” last week, which is adoption-speak for the day we finally held him for the first time. I write him a letter every year, trying to preserve for him (and me) a snapshot of who he is at that moment in time. It has been six years. […]

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Pie Fight!

Playing in the snow with kids

By Jillian Lauren I smashed my iPhone and I’m up in the mountains. Gah! Anyway, hello from Big Bear, where it is actually cold and there is actual white stuff on the ground! As we wound up the mountain road and the first dirty, slushy patches of snow appeared, Tariku screamed like he had won […]

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