• Parenting with Psychology: ABA Behavior Modification

    Personally, I hate the term behavior modification. But it has an important place in ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis). Anyone who has worked with, known, or been in contact with a child with an autism spectrum disorder knows behaviors are inevitable. These are highly sensitive, highly rigid individuals, which makes even the slightest deviation tantrum-worthy. The goal of ABA behavior modification isn’t to try to control the children or their behaviors. It’s to understand why the child is behaving that way so they can be taught how to ask for what they want and express their needs in a more socially acceptable way. It helps give them tools they can take…

  • The 7 Things I Do On Those Sleep Deprived Days That Could Be Hard

    Motherhood is relatively easy for me. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have those sleep deprived days after endless nights of waking with my almost two year old every hour of the night (teething and rainy nights are tough for her). Those days can be challenging. I recognize that my patience isn’t where it should be and all I want is some quiet. I silently beg my kids to be fine playing on their own. I countdown to naptime and bedtime. Everything that normally doesn’t bother me has the potential to be utterly frustrating. But I’m resourceful and know myself well enough to know my shortcomings on those days. It’s…

  • I Give My Kids Reasons Instead of Saying “Because I Said So”

    “Because I said so” has no place in my home. As soon as my kids were no longer newborns, I started giving them reasons for why they couldn’t do something. “No, you can’t eat paper because it’s not food.” “No, you can’t have the scissors because they’re sharp and you might hurt yourself.” “No, you can’t pull the cat’s tail because she might scratch you.” “No, you can’t have Mommy’s glasses because then she can’t see you.” Of course I knew they couldn’t understand me at 3 months old. They just smiled at giggled at me. But I didn’t want to be the stereotypical parent who yells “because I said…

  • My Mom Truths

    Over the past couple of months, I’ve been thinking about the direction I want my blog to take. I loved doing what I was doing last year, but not when it comes to my motherhood posts. Sometimes I would write a post and then worry so much about it that it would never get posted. I was so afraid of offending, of being accused of mom shaming, of finding no one else quite like me who could relate. This year, I’ve decided to kiss that fear good-bye. This is my blog. This is my space. I make absolutely zero dollars from anything I do here. All I get is the…

  • Blog and Life Updates

    Blog updates A month ago my plan was to spend November almost exclusively posting my NaNo story and then return to my regular 3 times a week schedule of mom, books, and writing posts in December until the holidays. Well, I’m going to do Allison proud and burn that plan. Why? Because she’s a loud voice in my head and life is just too busy for me to contemplate non-writing posts. Life updates About a month ago we learned we needed to move by the end of November. My husband’s new job nowhere near where we currently live means we must move. Fortunately, we’re staying in Southern California, but…have you…

  • Happy Halloween!

    I’m not a fan of autumn. Halloween is not a favorite holiday. But over 10 years ago I wrote this poem on a pumpkin. A Halloween Nightmare You’re one step away from the doorstep. You take that step and suddenly— You’re in a dark, forbidding forest. Branches wave in the frigid wind. They look like fingers reaching— Reaching to tear life from you. It grows darker and colder. The forest is lit by only the white moon. A high, sharp cackle fills the air. You shiver and turn about. Nothing. Where am I, you wonder. An eerie silence falls. Then a howl breaks that silence. A shriek fills the air…

  • To My Kids, As You Grow Up in the Wake of the Metoo Movement

    I’m not a boy mom or a girl mom. I’m just a mom. I have a boy and a girl and just see children. I see children who are growing up in a rapidly changing world, a world where it’s not always safe to be male or female. I spend a lot of time worrying about the future my children will come of age in. I worry about what adolescence and adulthood will be like for them. And, in the wake of the Metoo movement, I worry about whether they will become sexual assault victims or accused perpetrators. I can only hope that, as their mother, I’ll have given them…

  • It's not because I can't have nice things because I have kids. I choose to not have nice things because I have kids.

    I Don’t Have Nice Things Because I Have Kids

    It’s not a I can’t have nice things because I have kids. It’s a I don’t choose to have nice things because I have kids. I have plenty of nice things. They’re safely stored in boxes in the closet. I don’t display them because I have kids. I choose to not pretty up spaces for Instagram-worthy photos and put out my breakables because I have kids. This is my home. I can display whatever I want. I can create any kind of environment I want. If I want to have pretty little corners with beautiful vases of flowers or little nooks where I can do some great photo shoots for…

  • Not a Social Media Mom

    Some days I have a hard enough time just blogging. Finding time to jump onto Facebook-Twitter-Instagram-Pinterest-etc just doesn’t happen. Just thinking about it makes me tired. I didn’t grow up on social media. I grew up in a backyard and a home that had no Internet until I was in 6th-7th grade and zero cable until I was in high school. And I don’t find I have in any way, shape, or form been deprived. I knew MySpace existed, but had no interest. Then there was something called LiveJournal some college friends were on. I ended up on Facebook by accident as a college freshman and got mild amusement from…

  • Milkshake in a Jar

    My husband looked at me like I was crazy. I prefer to think I was being creative. As a mom of two toddlers, every day is an exercise in creativity. My 4 year old has a strange problem with sounds. Alarms scare him. He refuses to flush the toilet because the sound scares him, but is fine under certain circumstances. He locks himself in his room when we use the blender. The blender. That magical piece of kitchen equipment that gives us milkshakes. We live in Southern California. It’s hot most of the year. Ice cream is kind of a way of life for my family. I grew up with…