Are We There Yet?

Are We There Yet?

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.

And now, the President of the United States ...

President Barack Obama will deliver the commencement address at one lucky U.S. high school this spring chosen through the first “Race to the Top High School Commencement Challenge.”

A virtual walk in the woods

Like everyone else, my kids and their friends are reveling in the warmer weather.

The last bits of snow are melting away, and we spent much of the weekend outside -- batting practice, basketball, hide and seek, any excuse to be outdoors. My daughter was even thrilled to find a pinecone on a walk at a woodsy rest area on our way to St. Louis.

Sick days, happy days

Here’s how you don’t want to start your work week.

I was doing my usual juggling routine on a recent Monday morning — up at 6:30, check email, throw in a load of laundry, shower, make school lunches before the kids wake up, etc. — when I heard my daughter yell, “Mommy! I need to throw up!”

I’ll gloss over the details, but suffice to say I had to stay home from work that day.

Stopping the 'R' word


You may have seen the billboard on South Neil Street: a smiling 2-year-old girl next to the slogan, "Spread the Word to End the Word."

The "R-word" in question is "retarded," used for years to describe people with mental disabilities but now considered derogatory by those in special education.

Students, parents and educators in Champaign County rallied Wednesday to stamp out use of the “R” word and champion the contributions of people with intellectual disabilities.

Local cable show for moms debuts this month

One thing I valued above all else as a first-time mom: advice from women who’d just gone through the same thing.

When my son was born, I relied heavily on a friend who had a 1-year-old boy. Her memories of those first bewildering days with a newborn were still fresh, and even though she was a decade younger than me she was a whole year smarter about babies.