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Friday, July 11, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 69.0° F  Mostly Cloudy
The Daily


Mama Madison: A different way of looking at July 4

I dare you to find a happier place on Earth to be a kid, American or otherwise, than my neighborhood on the Fourth of July. I don't care if Mickey and Minnie dress up like George and Martha Washington this coming Independence Day, Disneyworld will have nothing on my "Magic Kingdom." We have balloon tosses, fire engines, hot dogs and brats. We will listen to John Phillips Souza blasted over loud speakers as every child in the five-block radius of Virginia Terrace makes his or her way up and down the block for the annual Grand Parade. >More
 Mama Madison: Fabulous family-friendly fests

We aren't much more than a week in to summer vacation and already my kids have broken every "screen time" rule I've laid down, have eaten popsicles -- just popsicles, mind you -- for dinner, and have mastered 101 creative ways to let me know just how bored they are. I totally sympathize with Phineas and Ferb's older sister; we all need a little more structure to our days.

 Mama Madison: Girls on the run

Last week, my ten-year-old daughter completed the spring season of Girls on the Run, the excellent ten-week program that inspires pre-teen girls to be healthy and confident through a creative approach to the sport of running. Given our family history, it was one of the last things in the world I would have expected her to like. Both her older brothers, if finding themselves on the inside of a burning building, would have to carefully consider whether to walk or run out. But this past Saturday, their far speedier little sister joyfully finished a 5K. >More
 Mama Madison: Love for teachers

To honor the school year's imminent end, my '80s-obsessed sixth grader has taken to humming the Reagan-era classic, The Final Countdown . But I really wish he'd turn "the dial" to another oldies station---ideally one from 1967.

Because I am feeling much more To Sir, with Love.

 Mama Madison: Other children's parents

I was running late as usual last week, this time to "Museum Day" at my son's middle school. While hustling up to the door, I bumped in to an acquaintance whose daughter was in the same class. We made small talk, late parent to late parent, and he asked me how the medieval castle, my son's exhibit for the "museum," turned out.

Sheepishly, I told him the truth. I hadn't even seen it yet.

 Lifeguarding is a really big deal

"It's been my intended summer career path ever since I've since I was five," says Sarah Lindstrom, 18, a West High grad finishing up her first year at UW-Madison. "I grew up at Shorewood Pool, and the swimming community has had a large impact on my life. I always knew I wanted to work there." >More
 Mama Madison: Not expecting much from "Expecting"

I find it a bit puzzling that Hollywood's gone and made a movie based on What to Expect When You're Expecting , Heidi Murkoff's paperback bible that got me, and millions of other women like me, through those 40 (or in the case of my first pregnancy 40+) weeks of pregnancy. I am not really sure what the plotline could be. The book is a manual, a reference guide. It's kind of like trying to make a feature film based on the Encyclopedia Britannica or Strunk and White's The Elements of Style. >More
 Mama Madison: Pick a story

There are times when figuring out what to write about doesn't come easily. Weeks with no obvious holiday tie-in, no top-of-mind funny kid story, or no crisis in the parenting world are always a bit of a challenge.

And then you have a week like last week. The blog-post-idea heavens opened up and didn't just sprinkle or drip. It was a complete and total downpour.

 Mama Madison: It's your day, Mom

I've always had a hard time fully enjoying Mother's Day. Store bought cards can only bring so much delight, especially when you know they were purchased under duress. It doesn't take a genius (or frankly, even a Mom) to know what "top secret" errand my frazzled husband and uninspired kids are running off to right around dinner (or some other equally inopportune time) each and every Mother's Day Eve. And it's even harder to believe the sentiment is heartfelt when your child signs that 99-cent card with both his first and last name. Yes, ever since my 14-year-old was old enough to write, Mother's Day cards from him have always seemed more like the Declaration of Independence than expressions of gratitude. >More
 Ann Imig's theater concept Listen To Your Mother lets moms tell their stories

Ann Imig had only been blogging for six months when she attended BlogHer, the national conference for women who write online, in the summer of 2009. While there, the self-proclaimed "Stay at Home Humorist" and mother of two young sons sat in on the keynote address, where invited writers read aloud from their own posts. >More
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