Are We There Yet?

Are We There Yet?

Helping families in a complex world

Some good news emerged recently from the annual report on the well-being of America’s children.

Teen pregnancy is down, continuing a long-term trend. Binge drinking among high school students has dropped. More children have health insurance, and the percentage of teens smoking is the lowest since 1980.

Lost in translation

After hours of negotiations that rivaled the Paris peace talks, we recently upgraded our home wireless and satellite TV service — and managed to shave money off our monthly bill in the process.

I was feeling quite smug — who says tech is only for the young? — until it was time to come up with a security question for our account.

Remembering Lexi, one kindness at a time

An elderly woman gets help with her groceries from a young stranger and his girlfriend.

A harried mom in line at the Starbucks drive-through learns that the college student in front of her has paid her bill.

A disheartened freshman struggling with college finds an upperclassman to lean on.

A day in the life of an older(ish) mom

It was one of those sweet moments of childhood: my 5-year-old was giving me a Mommy makeover.

I sat in our living room “spa” while she brushed my hair, applied pretend lipstick and handed me some plastic jewels to wear. She stepped back to review her work, and smiled.

“You’re so pretty,” she said, as my heart melted.

Off to college - ready or not

Be sure to check out our tips from the experts below.

I see them at the dorms every August: the excited and nervous freshmen, the anxious and even more nervous parents, lugging pillows and towels and everything else they could cram into the car.

And I think: I’m so not ready for this.

‘I can do anything’

When my daughter was young, she liked to ask me about the “olden times” when I was a girl.

The days of no satellite TV, no mobile phones, no Google, not even a measly VCR.

It’s hard for her fathom that life.

Passport to adventure

This column first appeared in the July 19 News-Gazette.

The first hint that our vacation might require a bit more planning than usual came about a month before our scheduled departure.

Our drive out east was to include a visit with family, a couple of days in New York City and a stop by Niagara Falls on our way home.

It could happen to any parent - including you

In the past few weeks, two families have experienced every parent’s worst nightmare in the most agonizingly public way.

A 3-year-old boy crawls under a barrier into a gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati zoo, escaping only when the animal is shot to death after repeatedly dragging him around a moat, as his horrified family watched.

More weeds? That's just dandy

We are used to neighbors cringing when they walk by our lawn.

There’s the annual stinky ginkgo problem, the 80-20 ratio of weeds-grass, a certain lumpiness to the terrain and, for a few weeks every spring, swarms of ground bees that take up residence along our sidewalk. (I’m told they are good pollinators.)