Thursday, November 14, 2019

If you give a kid a skateboard...

Is a skateboard on your child's wish list?

Here's what happened when I got my son a skateboard.

(Spoiler alter: It's good. Well, mostly.)

My latest for Today's Parent: If you give a kid a skateboard.

Friday, November 1, 2019

My teen plays at the park... and I love it!

I've seen several articles lately written by moms of little kids complaining about teenagers at local public parks. While I won't defend anyone's bad behavior, I happen to have a teen who sometimes hangs out a park. He's much too young to drive, and instead of a troublemaker, I see a gangly middle-schooler trying to clutch to a piece of his childhood.

Bottom line, let's judge teenagers (and everyone!) on their behavior and not just their age.

My latest for Sammiches & Psych Meds:

If you like what you read, please like, comment or share. For more articles like this, follow me on Facebook.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Hey, World? Not all boys play sports.

I'm so happy to be featured once again in Today's Parent.

This article came out of a conversation with my writer's group, which started with me telling a story about my son's skateboarding and ended with a long lament that his activity would never get the kind of respect that baseball, basketball or any other traditional sport might earn.

Hey, World? Not all boys play sports.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Halloween PSA

It's awkward enough to be a tall middle-schooler. This Halloween, hand out the Snickers and leave the judgment behind.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Decoded: Rear-window decals

Have you ever wondered what the curly initials or Salt Life decal REALLY means on the car in front of you? With almost no research and a lot of snark, I wrote this piece for Sammiches & Psych Meds.

Decoded: Rear-window decals.

If you like what you read, please like, comment or share. For more articles like this, follow me on Facebook.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Mom shunned for skipping back-to-school photos

Check out my latest satire about a mom who made the unfortunate choice to skip the back-to-school photo mania on social media.

Woman boycotts back-to-school photos, ruins social life.

If you like what you read, please like, comment or share. For more articles like this, follow me on Facebook.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Woman or garbage can? You decide.

Are you a woman who's been mistaken for a garbage can?

I am!

I describe the condition in detail in my latest satire on Mock Mom.

Mom repeatedly mistaken for garbage can.

If you like what you read, please like, comment or share. For more articles like this, follow me on Facebook.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

5 sneaky ways I get my kids to read more

Without any nagging, begging or threatening, I’ve come up with five sneaky (one may say “passive-aggressive”) methods to promote literacy around my house.

5 sneaky ways I get my kids to read more.

If you like what you read, please like, comment or follow me on Facebook.

Thank you for reading!

Sunday, June 30, 2019

What happened when I asked my 11-year-old for advice

Yesterday, I was in a pickle and needed to make a tough choice, quickly.

My stress levels began soaring, and I longed to talk it over with someone. But my husband was in an all-day meeting, my parents were golfing, my teen's at camp and my friends are all on vacation or working.

So I turned to my 11-year-old, the only one around.

I explained the situation. He listened patiently.

When I finished, he paused for a minute.

"What if? What if? What if?" he parroted my words back to me.

"Mom, you know what you need to do," he concluded. "So do it. And stop stressing over WHAT IF."

And he was right, of course. Panicking over what could possibly go wrong was only fogging up my common sense and good judgment.

So I did what I had to. And you know what? Everything turned out fine.

And, most importantly, now I know who to ask the next time I need a little advice.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

How I turned a creepy situation into a safety lesson

Find my latest article up on Scary Mommy today, where I tried to make the best out of a creepy driving situation one winter evening.

How I turned a creepy driving situation into a safety lesson for my teen.

If you like what you read, please like, comment or share. For more articles like this, follow me on Facebook.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

You've been (con)cautioned.

My youngest is recovering from a concussion. While I was so freaked out, he still managed to make me laugh!

Thursday, May 16, 2019

An open letter to my Fitbit.

Find my latest article in Sammiches & Psych Meds:

An open letter to my Fitbit.

If you enjoy this article, please share it with your friends on social media! Thank you for reading.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Why I plan to play hooky with my teen

One look at my dad and I could tell my clubs were waiting in the trunk of his car. He’d never done it before and he never did it again, but today he was bugging out of work early, and I was cutting class.

Find my latest article up on Grown & Flown today: Why we need to play hooky with our teens.

If you enjoy this article, please share it with your friends on social media! Thank you for reading.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Letter to bike helmet up on Today Parents

You can find my recent letter to my son's bike helmet over at Today Parents:

Mom writes eye-opening letter to bike helmet.

If you enjoyed this piece, please click "Vote Up" just above my photo. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Dear green-mohawk helmet,

You made my son famous in our neighborhood in the Netherlands, where only foreigners bothered with such safety equipment. I’m not exaggerating when I say that people would point and laugh and shout at the boy with the silly bike helmet.

You also caused much angst and annoyance as my son grew from tween to teen and petitioned to forgo the cumbersome mom-required headwear.

When you were passed down to my youngest child, who wears only black and is painfully polite and quiet spoken, you caused even more unrest in my home.

“I have to wear THIS!?” he pleaded. It’s true, the neon spikes don’t jive at all with his personality. And the dinosaur pattern is much too babyish for someone in the double digits.

Oh, green-mohawk helmet. With that in-your-face, punk-rock attitude. And your ever-present inflexibility. You’re the cause of so much foot-stomping, huffing and silent treatment. The catalyst of oh-so-many arguments.

But thanks to you, mohawk helmet, when my child’s skateboard shot out from under him at the skatepark Sunday, and he crashed into a cinderblock wall head-first, YOU took the brunt of it.

And thank you wrist-guard, too. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

What could have been a concussion and multiple fractures instead resulted in a cracked helmet and broken thumb. You sure went out with a bang, green-mohawk!

I tease that the score is: Kid 0; Wall 1.

But, in fact, thanks to you, we can joke about the crash at all. My kid is still smiling as he picks out a new helmet, his digit stabilized in a perpetual thumbs-up for the foreseeable future.

(Ask him, “What’s up?” and he’ll answer, “My thumb.”)

Yes, right now it’s just a funny anecdote we tell our friends. But without you, green-mohawk helmet, it would have been a nightmare.

For more stories like this one, be sure to follow me on Facebook! Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

What I wish I knew sooner about raising boys

Find my latest article up today at Sammiches & Psych Meds, sharing some crucial tips I wish I knew sooner about raising boys.

Five tips I wish I knew sooner about raising little boys.

As I say in the article, some of these probably apply to little girls, too, but I only have boys and I'm writing from my own experience.

If you like what you read, please like, comment or share. For more articles like this, follow me on Facebook.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

What happened when I forgot to sign the homework sheet

You can find me today over at Today Parents.

This one might sound a bit familiar, it originally appeared last year in Sammiches and Psych Meds. If you like what you read, please click "Vote Up" just above my photo.

What happened when I forgot to sign the homework sheet.

For more posts like this one, find me on Facebook.

Thank you for reading!

Monday, February 4, 2019

Why I cried in a shoe store

This week you can find me over at Grown & Flown explaining why I was crying in a shoe store over giant Nikes. True story, I swear!

Check it out: Why I cried over a giant pair of Nike shoes in a shoe store.

If you enjoyed this article, follow me on Facebook for all my latest content.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Happy 1-year anniversary to me!

One year ago today I started this blog so I’d have a place to stick the two articles I wrote on a whim: one on Hirshprung Disease and one on dyslexia, causes close to my heart.
Some of you are Hirschprung or dyslexia parents, or you relate to my experiences with IEPs and accommodations.
A lot of you started following me after my post on unsafe drivers putting our kids in danger as they board school buses and pass through crosswalks.
Or maybe you found me thanks to a funny meme or silly post. Or you're a writer who runs in the same circles. Or you know me IRL.
Either way, I'm glad you're here!
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started this, while also working on a book about our three years in Holland with two little boys (also called Boogers Abroad). Part of the deal with my site, my book and all my articles is that I don't use my kids' real names or pictures. I'm paranoid about privacy, and my boys aren't crazy about me broadcasting their lives to the world. Plus, writing for the Internet is scary sometimes, I've certainly had my share of trolls and nasties.
But I've also received the most heartwarming comments and messages from people who felt less alone after reading my stories. Or whose days were made just a little brighter. Or who reached out to thank me for voicing my thoughts. And that, my friends, is what it's all about.
In this one year, I’ve also had 47 articles shared in eight publications, which is beyond my wildest dreams!
I’m continually inspired and encouraged by all of you out there reading, sharing and commenting. And if you have a friend or two who might also enjoy my page, I’d be ever so grateful if you invite them to follow me (on the right under Community, click “Invite your friends.”)
Your support and encouragement mean the world to this mama. Thank you!

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Frozen water terrifies entire region

Does your town freak out over a little bit of snow in the forecast? Mine does.

This Wisconsin girl couldn't help but poke some fun at her new neighbors in Indiana.

Find my latest satire in Mock Mom:

Frozen water terrifies entire region.

If you liked this story, please follow me on Facebook. Thank you for reading!

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Bullies' words too much for little warrior

A 10-year-old boy took his own life a few days ago. He was bullied. Because he smelled bad. Because of his colostomy bag.
That little warrior survived 26 surgeries, but it was the bullies’ words that hurt him the most.
Let that sink in.
My son is also 10. And he, too, has a bowel condition (Hirschsprung Disease) that sometimes makes him smell bad. He used to have a colostomy bag as well.
That could be my kid. It could be your kid.
And it’s heartbreaking. We need to do better.
Let's all try to remember everyone has struggles we know nothing about. Let's choose our words carefully, my friends.
Let's lift each other up.
And ask for help.
Let's choose kindness. Always.
Now go hug your kids, and remind them to do the same.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

A year for scary things

By Jacqueline Miller

I know, I’m a bit late to write about New Year's resolutions. But I was busy jumping off cliffs in Jamaica.

You see, this year I’ve decided to do more scary things.

Because I’ve found that when I get wrapped up in my everyday chores, I get bored. I get complacent. And I stop learning and growing.

In 2012, our family made a huge leap. We sold our house, cars and furniture and moved to Europe for three years. And I secretly loved that every day we faced challenges and new experiences. There’s no boredom, no complacency when you’re navigating a new culture.

Now that we’ve comfortably settled back into American life, I don’t want that sense of wonder and newness, and yes, even scariness, to fade away.

So I’m pushing myself to do more scary things in 2019.

For me, someone who hates public speaking, that means signing up to teach a six-week class for kids and speaking at a writers conference. It also means making peace with my grey hair. And jumping off cliffs into brilliant blue waters. (Posting a photo of myself in a swimsuit should count, too!)

What scary things are you doing in 2019?