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An un-Frozen shopping list
If you ask the buyers for mega-retailers like Toys 'R Us, Target and Walmart what the hot kid gifts will be this holiday season, they'll likely give a cool, one-word answer -- "Frozen." As in the outrageously popular Disney animated feature, still ruling the pop culture zeitgeist, not to mention mass toy manufacturing, a year after its theatrical release. >MoreThe do-it-yourself playroom
"The most effective kind of education is that a child should play amongst lovely things." That thought is attributed to the ancient philosopher Plato. >MoreMama Madison: Does back-to-school really mean a whole new wardrobe?
This past week, on the way to the grocery store, my daughter asked what I believed she thought would be a innocuous question, "Mom, when are we going back-to-school shopping?" >MoreMama Madison: Next generation of bloggers
Volunteering with the Young Writers Summer Camp this past week really helped me to remember how utterly creative kids can be when encouraged to come up with their own ideas and use their own words. >MoreMama Madison: Returning to the workforce
This past week I gleefully accepted an offer for new job on the UW-Madison campus. My kids are getting are older and I guess I've felt for a while now that it was time to figure out what would be next for me on the professional front. >MoreMama Madison: Kids will find their own passions in their own ways
"I'm envious, mom," said my twelve-year-old daughter as she hopped in the car after theater camp last week. "All the other kids in my group seem to really like, and to be really good at, singing, dancing and acting. But I think all those things are just okay." >MoreVital work is being done at the Lussier Community Education Center, from community-building to STEM skills
"People are looking to book space here all the time," says Remy Fernández-O'Brien, communications and facilities coordinator for the Lussier Community Education Center, a private, nonprofit community center on Madison's west side. "They want to throw their child's first birthday party here or hold a Girl Scout meeting. We're really busy year-round, but it's especially lively here in the summer." >MoreMama Madison: Parental dice rolls?
Last week, in response to the county-wide Sleep Safe, Sleep Well public health campaign that encourages parents to "share the room, not the bed" with their sleeping infants, Isthmus contributor Ruth Conniff penned a lovely opinion piece in defense of bed sharing entitled "Confessions of a Co-Sleeper." >MoreMama Madison: What constitutes a keepsake?
As much as I'd like to believe there is latent genius in my daughter's early finger paintings, I'm pretty sure her works are not distinguishable from those created by the pointer fingers and pinkies of thousands of other children from across the world. >MoreMama Madison: Young love
Seeing Romeo and Juliet this past weekend was a definite reminder that I need to prepare for something that might resemble a (near) West Side Story around our place pretty soon. >MoreMama Madison: What a mother fears most
All during childhood, we calmly tell our kids they don't need to be afraid of the dark, thunder or the monster under the bed. But it's pretty hard to keep your parental cool when your kid is about to embark on the one thing that terrifies you. I knew the problem wasn't really with him. It was with me. >MoreMama Madison: Summer stress solved by yoga
The first week of summer break at our place usually comes and goes without incident. At times, one could argue, it even verges on pleasant. I have no school lunches to pack and the kids have no 7 a.m. buses to catch. >MoreMama Madison: The greatest fans of road repair
Have you tried getting anywhere on either Verona Road or East Johnson lately? I'm pretty sure a six-month old could crawl to Fitchburg, or across the isthmus, in less time that it takes me to drive there these days. >MoreMama Madison: The alarm sounds
As soon as the door closed behind him, I poured myself a cup of the coffee he had made and took a moment to let the enormity of what just happened sink in. My son was ready that morning despite my inability to properly set an alarm clock. My kid was ready that morning without nudging, cajoling, or reminding. He was ready, even when I wasn't. >MoreMama Madison: My summer book list
For the past 17 years or so (i.e., since I've had kids), I haven't made books the priority in my life I know they should be. It's not that I don't try. Just this past weekend I had the best of intentions of picking up, and even finishing, I am Malala, this year's UW-Madison's Go Big Read pick. But the copy still sits untouched on my nightstand. >More