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Common Core

Why We’re ‘Opting Out': Our Kids Aren’t Guinea Pigs

If you have a school aged child, know a school aged child or know someone with a school aged child, you’ve probably heard two words thrown about a lot lately: opting out. But what are they opting out of? And why? The first answer is simple: the common core state tests thrown at kids in […]

PJs

Handing Down Their Childhood One T-Shirt & Pair of Jeans at a Time

There isn’t much in my attic that’s changed in the 12 years since we bought the house. Some updated insulation. Removal of a fan that allowed critters and too much cold inside. That which every homeowner since time immemorial has changed. And then there is the box. The box that sits just inside the door, […]

Playing OUtside

Nosy Neighbors Are Killing Childhood As We Once Knew It

They thought their kids were walking to the park the day the cop car pulled up to their suburban home. But Danielle and Alexander Meitiv’s 10- and 6-year-old children weren’t park-bound anymore. They were in the back of the police car. The kids were fine. Their parents were about to be very un-fine. In the […]

Inside Out

Little Girl Looking Out Window

She Doesn’t Need to Hold My Hand … But She Still Can

We were in a parking lot at a chain restaurant when it happened. I reached out my hand, expecting a smaller one to fit right in the recess between forefinger and thumb. I felt just the tips of fingertips and then … air. It wasn’t the first time. We went through this when she was […]

leaf

Before You Delete Your Facebook Account, Remember You Are Not Alone …

As it is with most things that become popular, it’s become fashionable in recent years to say you’re not on Facebook, to turn your nose up at the daily navel-gazing that occurs on a site that claims to boast 890 million daily active users — on average. I get it. Facebook is not just something […]

sad dog

On Preparing Kids for the Death of a Dog

Our pup was still a teenager – in dog years anyway – when the fear began to creep inside. Fear of her death. Morbid? Indeed. But our daughter had just begun crawling, and she delighted in nothing more than working her pudgy little body up onto her knees and heading straight for our beloved mutt. […]

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Motherhood

Side

We Get First Row Tickets to the ‘Reinvention’ Play of Childhood

I remember fourth grade — the grade my daughter is in now — with a whole lot of fear and loathing. I can’t be alone. One study of adolescents, commissioned by the American Association of University Women, found that at age 9, girls are overwhelmingly confident, assertive and feel positive about themselves. By the time they hit […]

Looking

10 Things No Kid Will Ever Believe Are True

It’s every mother’s hope that the child she brings into this world will be a genius. Our dreams for them are typically of such grandiosity that the presidency of the United States is a mere stepping stone on the path to greatness. Then one day it happens. Our kids become the smartest beings on the […]

EverAfter2

‘Ever After High': A Feminist Mom’s Dream? Close Enough

If it weren’t for the tagline, I wouldn’t have given Ever After High a second glance — or let my daughter give it one. But when the Netflix series popped up atop my queue with the words “Are you a rebel or a royal?” I was intrigued. Telling little girls they can rebel? Not bad, […]

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Photography

Engagement1

Brittney & Josh: An Engagement Session

  A lot of photographers have a lot of props in their arsenal. I confess I have a few favorites myself. But when I’m going out on a shoot, I always want to focus on the subject … and that means looking to their lives for the “props” that will really reflect their story. In […]

a photographer taking photos

Why That Photographer Is Lying on the Ground

A photo appeared on Facebook this week of me. I’m sitting in the middle of the road, one leg thrown out to the side, the foot up and rooted to the ground. The other leg was bent and positioned beneath me in such a manner that it was holding me steady as I leaned forward, […]

Jeanne Sager family

If I Can’t Stand in Front of a Camera … What Does That Say to My Daughter?

The selfie may have taken over the world – and the Oxford Dictionary – but there are few on my phone and even fewer on my various social media accounts. If that makes me an anomaly, there’s reason for it. I’ve never been exactly comfortable standing in front of a camera. A lifetime battle with […]

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Entertainment

LEGEND OF THE NEVERBEAST

Giveaway: ‘Tinker Bell and the Legend of the Never Beast’ Blu-Ray & DVD Pack

Before I gave birth to a daughter, I’d never heard of the Bechdel test. It’s a measure of how often two female characters talk to each other in films and books about subjects other than men. More than half of all contemporary films fail the test, and — sadly — that includes most children’s movies. […]

BIG HERO 6

Giveaway: ‘Big Hero 6′ Blu-Ray & DVD

By now we all know you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but what about judging a movie by its title? Big Hero 6 (which hits shelves on Blu-Ray and DVD on February 24) sounds like a movie about a team of superheroes. Technically, it is. Based on a lesser known Marvel […]

Boxtrolls Eggs

‘The Boxtrolls’ Is a Kids’ Movie Every Parent Should See

Some kids movies are designed to make your kids think deep thoughts about the world around them. Then there are the kids movies that are really for the parents — reminding us what we need to do to be better parents. The Boxtrolls — out on DVD and Blu-Ray on Tuesday, January 20, manages to […]

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Country Life

Fall Leaves in the Catskills

Sorry, New York Times, But We Built the Catskills

Well,  it seems congratulations are in order. According to the New York Times, the Catskills is one of the 52 places to go in 2015. Yes, we’ve made it. So who gets the pats on the back? The Sullivan County Visitors’ Association, perhaps, for all their hard work in reminding people that the Borscht Belt […]

Callicoon Tractor Parade

20 Things Sullivan County (New York) Folks Love

If there’s ever proof that Sullivan County is a world unto itself, the list going ’round the web that promises to sum up everything Upstate New Yorkers love is it. We love our cider donuts as much as the next sweet tooth, but we much prefer a Roscoe or Callicoon brewed beer to that Saranac […]

winter boot

How Not to Be a Jerk to the Snow Plow Driver This Winter

Winter is back — whether we welcome the old man or not. He’s brought his old friends snow, sleet, ice, and incompetent driving. We could probably do without them all, but it’s the last one that’s truly the pits. True, people drive like idiots in the summer. But on an 80-degree day in July, you […]

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