Are We There Yet?

Are We There Yet?

Countdown to the 5K: Part 2

The children are leaving me in the dust.

In my first report on our training for the upcoming 5K race at the Illinois Marathon, we had achieved a new milestone: 2.4 miles, four-fifths of the way to our 3 mile goal.

Details, details

If you’ve ever obsessed about any detail of your child’s life (c’mon, who hasn’t?), you’ll enjoy the latest blog post from one of my favorite control freaks in the blogosphere, momtrolfreak.com.

It’s about her neurotic attempts to craft the perfect birthday invitation — and no one noticed.

I have SO been there. I spent so much time choosing the perfect baby announcement for my son that they were more than fashionably late; they were out of fashion.

Teens need jobs bailout too, groups say

Teens are demanding a new TARP bailout from the federal government -- not for banks but for summer jobs.

Activists planned to march on the U.S. Capitol today (March 23) to demand funding for summer and year-round employment through a "Teen Age Relief Program," or TARP. (The bank bailout was known as the Troubled Assets Relief Program).

Protesters planned to wear life preservers and carry a 10-foot raft with buckets to demonstrate the rising jobless rate among youth, the highest since the Great Depression, a press release said.

Spring Break dilemma: where to take the kids?

Wondering what to do with your kids next week, when half of Champaign-Urbana leaves town for Spring Break?

If it's beautiful, we plan to spend lots of time (at last) outdoors. But given that the forecast looks a bit wet and chilly, I'm compiling a rainy-day list.

Uni High update

University High School students have a bit of competition in their effort to get President Barack Obama as their graduation speaker this spring.

Officials from the Department of Education say more than 1,000 schools entered the "Race to the Top Commencement Challenge" launched this year. Applications were due Monday (March 15).

From Animals to Zeus: new children's books

Interested in the latest on children’s books?

Check out these recommenations from the Center for Children’s Books at the University of Illinois. Each month graduate assistants highlight books they liked from the selections reviewed in the Bulletin.

I was particularly intrigued by the first one, as my son is a HUGE Percy Jackson fan -- though I don’t love graphic novels. (Didn't we used to call them comic books?)

Backyard birthdays

It sounded like a good idea at the time.

When my son turned 7, we decided to have a big-time birthday party at our house. We’d done it before, mostly small gatherings with just a few friends. But this was going to be the big bash.

So we invited 20 — yes, 20 — first-grade boys to our house.

Get wild, child


The snow is finally gone, the temperature has cracked 60 degrees, and it’s time to get outdoors with your kids.

This week is National Wildlife Week, which encourages kids to “unleash their wild child” and learn to discover the world of green outside.

This year’s theme, “Be Out There At Home, School and Play,” is designed to bring children and their families together in nature, get schools involved in going green, and show kids how the outdoors can be a good play space.

Whose idea was this anyway?

Let me start by saying I am not a runner. I am a jogger. Kind of a jumpy walker.

I really prefer brisk walks through the neighborhood as I check out other people’s houses.

But my son and I were bitten by the Illinois Marathon bug last year, and we made a foolish pledge to run in the 5K race this spring.

We started a training program in December with another family.

It hasn’t always been pretty.

At first, enthusiasm was high. Partly because the kids got play dates out of it. My friend (a real runner) set up a structured training program three days a week.