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Happy Birthday Jelly Head

This weekend we celebrate Mamie's 6th birthday... how did that happen? It just happens. We cry and fight and make up songs. We learn to be brave together. And then you wake up on a Sunday morning and you have a 6-year-old in Hogwarts pajamas.

A few years ago, I got to share how we decided to name/nickname Mamie.

I Love My Kid's Unusual Name

When she started kindergarten this year, her nickname was all but slayed by bureaucratic forms. Despite me only ever referring to her as Mamie, her school adults only ever call her Mary. I wanted to defend her at first, speak up for using her preferred name!

Then she said, "No, I like Mary."

And I thought, Well why shouldn't she? It's the name we gave her. 

So I guess we've adopted the compromise that many families of nicknamed kids have -- she is Mary at school and Mamie everywhere else. And I'm leaving it entirely up to her what she is called. She prefers not to be called Jelly Head, and I'm trying to respect …

It's still hard to live far away from family, but here's what's different

Four years ago, I wrote about parenting without family nearby for Good Housekeeping:

I Wish We Were Raising Our Daughter Closer to Family

Now we have a second daughter, and we are still many many miles from their grandparents. It doesn't seem as hard now, and here's why:


Grandparents and other family take the time and energy to visit us several times a year. Not more than a few months go by without someone bunking in our guest room, and the girls know and love all of their family.We make those trips too. When we haul these kids 12+ hours in the car, we like to stay a few weeks and make ourselves at home. Thankfully, we are always welcome.The girls' aunt is now only a few hours away. It makes such a difference to know someone is "close".For the kids, long distance relationships are the norm. They know how to FaceTime, and take full advantage of their grandparents' attention. We've made "family" here. Friends turn into confidants, sitters turn into …

What I'm Reading: A Book That Takes Its Time and everything FLOW

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A Book That Takes Its Time from the editors of Flow Magazine
...and I am very much taking my time to read it. "Read" is not even the right word. I'm consuming it? Completing it? Frankly, I'm reading a few pages every few weeks and snipping, noting, and pondering as I go.
I'm obsessed with everything from Flow -- the magazine itself, the annual Book for Paper Lovers, all the special editions and doodads.
It is for people who love paper, graphic design, journaling, slowing down, planning, and quirky Euro vibes.

What I'm reading today

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Fifteen Minutes Outside: 365 Ways to Get Out of the House and Connect with Your Kidsby My kids don't need much excuse to get outside, but this helps me do it.


Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girlsby This makes me want to be a better writer.





The Mood Guide to Fabric and Fashion: The Essential Guide from the World's Most Famous Fabric Storeby(Photographer),  (Foreword) I bought this at Mood on a girls' trip to NYC a few years ago. It makes me want to be creative.

Inspection

Stuff I wrote lately

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Happy Mother's Day from a place of insecurity!

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I wrote about panic attacks for Romper

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I was recently told by someone who knows me very well that I conceal my anxiety like a cool cucumber. Maybe that's true, and not everyone in the whole world knows I've been struggling with anxiety and panic since Lizzie was born. Well, first, it is getting better. :D I was able to write about it for Romper.com!
My Baby's Appointments Triggered Panic Attacks, But I Learned To Cope

"I found that staying aware of tangible things around me left less mental space for catastrophizing."