Family Vacations, Memories and the Maine Attraction

the maine attraction is making memories with your family

I recently returned from Maine, where my family spent a week’s vacation. I’m now ready to relax. My wife and I have been going to the same location for about 20 years. It’s a family-owned cabin in Lincolnville, near Camden on Route 1 along the coast. There’s not much to Lincolnville, really. You’ll find a small beach nestled between two seafood restaurants and a rocky inlet … [Read more...]

Which Moments Will They Remember? 

when your kids look back on their lives at home, which moments will they remember the most?

Our lives are made up of small moments. There are those moments we forget, or try to forget, and those we remember and cherish. To me, these small moments are like luminous stars in the sky, guiding my journey ahead and shedding light on the experiences and people who've shaped me into the person I am today. I often wonder, which moments will my children remember? Will they … [Read more...]

How to Encourage Your Kids to Be Tidy

there is help for kids who can't stay organized

There is Help for That Mess!! If your home is like mine, it can be a never-ending battle to get your kids to pick up after themselves at times. In my case, my older kids are even worse at it than the little ones. Perhaps it has something to do with that teen attitude, but I try to keep the younger ones on task even if the older kids refuse to cooperate sometimes. I have … [Read more...]

Mothers and Moving and Making it Home

Mothers, Moving and making it home

My youngest daughter Hannah, who is just finishing her sophomore year, is moving out of her college dorm and into an off-campus apartment. She’s going to be sharing this new place with two roommates, but both of them have been studying abroad this semester, and therefore aren’t in town right now. So, she’s been left on her own to find the apartment for the three of them, … [Read more...]

Stop Whining: What to Expect When You’re Expecting To Move With Kids 

moving with kids and not losing your mind

Moving With Kids Before and after a move, there are plenty of rather predictable steps to make things easier. And then there are those other, more elusive things that only veteran moms can share. So stop and pay attention. After moving 22 times in 23 years of marriage, I’ve adopted several habits when faced with a move to help reduce the risk for emotional meltdowns—and I'm … [Read more...]

NO More Mother’s Day for Me!


A few months ago one of my classmates was giving a presentation about Valentine's day and how it actually started, and offered a unique perspective on Valentine's Day.  She suggested we should all start ignoring it.  She felt as though Valentine's day is gendered in such a way that it is really about women, and men getting stuff for women, etc.  In fact, she stated that when … [Read more...]

Vacation Planning in Divorceville: How to Keep Track of Your Kid(s) During the Holidays

divorce is bad enough but wait until you have to start juggling kid's vacation days into the plan

“You’ve been so organized lately!” I complimented my then ten year old. A big, giant question mark hovered over his head. “You remembered whose house you’re staying at this weekend! Remember last year? You never knew where you were supposed to go or what you were supposed to bring with you. Remember?  Even though I kept that calendar up on the fridge?” He finally … [Read more...]

Toys to Teens: 5 Tips for Organizing the Mess

5 Tips For Organizing the Mess

When toddlers were underfoot, I longed for less messy days. Then my oldest became a teenager, I had a toddler and elementary kids in between. Life got crazy. How do you keep track of the mess? Here are 5 household and lifestyle tips I've used to manage the multiple-child mess. 1. Expect kids to be responsible for their mess, no matter their age. The unwritten rule … [Read more...]

My Teen Son is Just Chillin’ in the Boy Cave

before he gets a man-cave your son will have a boy-cave

I lovingly refer to my son’s room as The Den Of Gloom & Doom.  The remnants of a space theme, its walls are deep blue, rendering it dark.  All offers to give it a lighter hue are repeatedly vetoed. Glow in the dark planets which once hung from the ceiling have since been knocked down by the giant meteor known as “basketball”, as have any wall hangings I’d thoughtfully … [Read more...]

5 Reasons You’re Not Talking About Money with Your Kids

talking about money with your kids

And 5 Reasons Why You Should When we had our first daughter over 12 years ago and I became a stay at home mom, we quickly went from a two-income family to a single income household. I wont’t lie - at first, we made many missteps managing our “new” budget. Fortunately, we were able to overcome our mistakes and come out on the other side. We also learned many lessons from our … [Read more...]

Why I Don’t Make New Year’s Resolutions

I am almost 50 years old.  I am 49 1/2 to be exact.  In my younger days I used to make New Year's resolutions.  Things like:  lose 10 pounds, quit smoking, save money, etc. These resolutions oftentimes were never reached, and maybe not even started.  I may have quit smoking for a day, but was not able to quit for good. I exercised some, but never met my weight loss … [Read more...]

Have Yourself A Simpler Little Christmas

Are you prone to over-complicating things? A perfectionist who thinks everything needs to be just so? This Christmas give yourself the gift of keeping it simple – and remember the reason for season.  It’s not about crazy spending, cooking the consummate turkey dinner or finding the ultimate present for that oh-so-difficult person who has everything. Christmas is about spending … [Read more...]

How to Create Last Minute Christmas Vouchers

Stuck for what to get your kids for Christmas this year? Do they already have the latest gadgets and ‘must have’s’? Or maybe money’s a bit tight and you need to find something great for not a lot of cash. Last Christmas I didn’t have a clue what to give my teen and tween boys. When they were younger it was so easy to buy lots of small stuff plus one big ‘star’ gift. It … [Read more...]

5 Lessons in Handling Holiday Stress

handling holiday stress

Christmas brings stress to my world. The materialism, gross display of human behavior on Black Friday, and hours wrapping presents is overwhelming. When you’re parenting teenagers, you’re not only worried about buying your kids presents they’ll like, but also ones that they’ll feel okay about sharing. New underwear and last year’s out-of-date whatever aren’t the things to brag … [Read more...]

Seasonal Sanity Savers for Busy Mothers

how to keep your sanity

How would you like to feel in the run up to Christmas? Overwhelmed, short fused and grumpy like Scrooge? Or in control, calm and full of festive sprit?  The choice is yours. The problem is, when you try to do too much, have high expectations, lack organization or don’t take care of yourself – it’s hard to stay positive. Your kids want a happy mama – not one who’s … [Read more...]

Exploding Turkeys and Obnoxious Relatives – NOW it’s the Holidays!


Are you ready for Thanksgiving?! The relatives are coming! The relatives are coming! But before you take that knife out of the turkey and plunge it into the back of your sister-in-law, watch this video as Dr. Wes discusses what goes wrong at family holiday gatherings. Or at least he tries to scratch the surface. The exploding turkey comment will make sense later in the … [Read more...]

The Reason for the Season – What are You Grateful For?

Bulletin board with paper tree cut out and leaves with words stuck on it

When I hauled the three boxes of Halloween decorations and costumes back up the attic, I realized that the candy bowl I’d been looking for the week before – the one with the grabby hand and sound effects – was in one of two other boxes of Halloween stuff that I had completely overlooked. “Oh, well,” I thought. “All this will still be here next year.” Halloween wasn’t the … [Read more...]

Why Teens Don’t Care About Their Drivers License

why your kids don't care if they drive

My kids, all three of them, have had an extraordinarily luke-warm attitude towards getting their driver's licenses and based on conversations I've had with some of their friends' parents they aren't the only ones. Sure there are still plenty of kids chomping at the bit to get their licenses the day they turn 16, but the percentage of kids who don't seem too excited about it … [Read more...]

In the Game of Discipline, Who Wins and Who Loses?

moms and tweens

When you have teenagers, discipline takes on a whole new meaning. As do the ‘crimes’.  I mean, when they were little, it was time out, and it could be multiple times a day.  Some days I wished someone would put me in time out.  In our house, they would get the occasional swat on the butt. (I am not here to discuss the merits or demerits of spanking. I was spanked, their dad was … [Read more...]

Finding Value In Family Relationships

family fun time

In one week, our family's downsized. College Graduate moved to the East Coast and College Boy returned to the university. That leaves the High Schooler and Junior, the middle school boy. “Our fun little family of four” I call the rest of us. There’s a lot I like about a smaller family. We can go places with minimal cost. We can eat out every once in a while instead of … [Read more...]