Wednesday, November 19, 2008
The wind was high, whipping through the leafless trees. The grass was sopping from the downpour, but light was spilling out of the houses on our little street and the lawns seemed to sparkle. The sky was a solid mass of clouds, and they reflected the light from town with a dim, otherworldly glow. It was 66 degrees outside. In mid-November. In New England. At night.
I had spent the day cooking and baking and cleaning and doing laundry and running errands with a tired preschooler and a cranky toddler in tow. My to-do list had spilled over from the night before and was running multiple pages. There were six loads of clean clothes waiting to be folded and put away. I was missing the big kids terribly, and feeling resentful about things I could not control. But at that moment, standing in the warm night and listening to the wild wind, I felt like my life was perfect and I had found balance. ... [More]
November 16, 2008
A Nice Way to Nap
By Lylah M. Alphonse, Globe Staff
We brought the TravelRest pillow with us on our last trip, and it lived up to its name. Most inflatable travel pillows are bouncy and uncomfortable; who can sleep sitting straight up in a chair with a horse collar around her neck anyway? TravelRest inflates easily and attaches to the back of your seat (no chance of it slipping off mid-nap); it lies under your cheek and drapes across your body, so you can nestle into it and rest in a more natural position. It comes in one size, works well for children and adults, and costs $26.95 at http://www.travelrest.net/. ... [More]
November 15, 2008
A Wildly Imaginative Stay
Looking for adventure with the kids
WHO: Globe Magazine staff member Lylah M. Alphonse, her husband, and their five kids, ages 1 to 14
WHAT: A family adventure in New Hampshire
WHERE: Adventure Suites, 3440 White Mountain Highway, North Conway, N.H., 888-626-6929
We were planning a little road trip and needed a place to stay. A place that our older kids would enjoy and our younger kids couldn't wreck immediately. A place with plenty to do close by. Adventure Suites in North Conway, N.H., fit the bill; each of the 16 suites has a different theme - a love shack, a dragon's lair, a New York penthouse, nd hog heaven, where guests can park their motorcycles right in the room, to name ust a few. ... [More]
We stayed in the treehouse suite (pictured here), and all our kids were in awe when they saw it. The wood-paneled main room was decorated with cute forest critters and contained an actual working swing hanging from an actual tree branch. A large Jacuzzi stood on a fake front porch in a corner of the room; a one-person tent was set up for our oldest daughter in another corner, and a set of stairs led up to a well-appointed sleeping loft with a king-size bed and a separate, padded "Nut Hut" big enough to sleep three more kids (it also had a PlayStation unit in it, so "sleep" may be inaccurate).
While we were up there, we visited Storyland (which is closed for the season now, so you'll have to wait until the spring for my review) and slid down a snowless ski slope at Attitash. The kids were talking about going back before we had even left the place!
Sunday, November 16, 2008
I happen to love Thanksgiving, but for many people that particular holiday is an incredible source of stress: The cooking. The guests. The traveling. The carving of the bird. The cleanup.
Over at Work It, Mom!, I've been writing like crazy, as myself and as "The Work It, Mom! Team," to create a Thanksgiving Guide that actually works for busy parents. You know, the ones who don't have a month and a half to plan the guest list and go out and purchase special, Thanksgiving-themed plates.
If you're looking for inspiration -- or just looking for a sane plan to handle the holiday -- here's a cheat sheet for you:
Have a happy -- and stress-free -- Thanksgiving: The key is to plan ahead; plus tips to make things easier whether you're the guest or the host.
Thanksgiving recipes and tips online: A round-up of great websites.
Quick and easy Thanksgiving side dishes: These 10 sides can be prepped or even made ahead of time, come together quickly, and taste great.
Day-by-day Thankgiving planner: Planning not your strong suit? We've done the dirty work for you; here's a step-by-step guide for what to do during the 10 days leading up to Thanksgiving.
10 great cookbooks for busy moms: No matter your skill level or cooking style, we've got a cookbook for you.
The Work It, Mom! Essentials guide to recipes and cooking: Links to articles, discussions, blog posts, quick tips, checklists, slide shows and more.
Now, get cooking!
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Along with regulatory mistakes that made a monster out of the financial industry and some crazily complex securities, one of the big reasons our economy is tanking right now is that, for years, Americans have been living way beyond their means — buying homes they can’t afford using subprime mortgages, for example. Giving taxpayer money to a company that’s suffering because taxpayers aren’t using it to rack up more debt doesn’t make sense. ... [More]
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Over at Yahoo's Shine, I share the crazy schedule that lets me keep some semblance of sanity, if not actual work-life balance. Take a look and commisserate (or sound off) in the comments! Seriously, go ahead -- I've already gotten a little of both.
The physical part is probably the easiest to remedy, and that’s hard enough. Emotionally and mentally, it’s been so long since putting myself first was second nature to me that, I have to admit, I’m both envious and a little resentful of the people who seem to do it so effortlessly. ... [More]
Click to enlarge, or read it online at Boston.com/magazine.
Friday, November 7, 2008
Aside from the whole Thimerosal issue (the flu vaccine is one of the few that still uses the mercury-laced preservative), the real reason I’m avoiding the flu vaccine is that it doesn’t work for about 85 percent of people who exhibit flu-like symptoms. ... [More]
Even if I did happen to fall among the less-than-15-percent of people who have a form of the flu that the vaccine can prevent, it takes as long as two weeks for your body to start producing antibodies once you’ve gotten the shot. Which means that you can end up with a sore arm AND a raging case of the flu. Which, coincidentally, is exactly what happened to me the first and only time I got a flu shot, years and years ago. ... [More]
I'm contracturally obligated not to endorse, campaign for, or even eyeball one political candidate or issue over another, but anyone who knows me can pretty much guess where I stand -- even when I'm trying hard to keep my mouth shut and appear neutral.
I rarely talk politics at work, even though it’s generally a safe bet for me, what with my being a card-carrying member of the Liberal Elite Media and all (not all of whom are Liberals, I might add). There are plenty of people who are pretty outspoken about where they stand, and I’m about as opinionated as they come, but still, while I’m likely to chime in to a discussion in progress, I try to view politics as more of a spectator sport.
I do the same thing at home, too, because we’re a politically blended family, but with a twist: My husband and I are on the same page when it comes to fiscal, social, and international politics; it’s our older kids who are on the other side of the aisle. ... [More]
How do we handle that delicate parenting dance? Read the rest at The 36-Hour Day.
November 2, 2008
A Piggyback Tote
By Lylah M. Alphonse, Globe Staff
The Over Tote System by Ellie Bags holds all of your baby's diapering essentials, and instead of taking up room inside your handbag, it simply slips over the top of it. It comes with a changing pad, wipes pouch, bottle or sippy cup holder, carrying strap, and a backup bag that you fill with all of those bulky baby things you can't do without. It's easier than hauling a huge diaper bag around. The Over Tote comes in several colors and attaches and detaches easily; it need not be a permanent addition to your purse. It is on sale for $57 at elliebags.com (or call 716-629-3340). [More]