Family Raising and Maintaining

Yep, I see you and you're looking good.

It's complicated

Dear Carrie Cariello,
Today at your website, you ask, “Can you tell?” My answer is, “Yep!”
To my readers who don’t read Cariello’s website every Monday … I suggest you do and this is why.

Carriello has five kids; Jack is her second and he is on the spectrum for autism. Her question “Can you tell?” is directed to people who see her with Jack. Can we tell he has autism and what do we think?

Babies - A column from December 2001

A friend – you are an amazing friend, Mary Kay – clipped and saved columns that she liked, back when I wrote them for the Racine Journal Times. She casually mentioned to me the other day, “I have been noticing babies lately…” I was startled at how familiar the line seemed to me; then I remembered I wrote it! Mary Kay has, I think, 11 grandkids. I have 1 and I am going to see her this week. I guess babies are on both our minds.

This was written in 2001, a few months after the debacle that was 9/11.

I have been noticing babies lately.

She's Here!

Tuesday morning, at two blinks past midnight, my daughter and her husband brought their brand new baby girl into the world. Well, my daughter did the birthing part but Pete stuck to her side and helped her through, and now their wee babe is here.

Grace Emilie arrived two weeks early. She weighs just shy of six pounds and has tawny blond hair that looks as if she was hatched instead of birthed. She has blue eyes and skin like warm rose petals.

Rites of Passage / Old Column

pine trees

My daughter is going to have a baby soon. This past weekend I went to a beautiful baby shower hosted by friends of my daughter, her husband, and his parents. Driving back home I thought about this column I wrote in 2003.

Last week, late one afternoon and for no particularly pressing reason, I started stripping and refinishing my kitchen windows. And then, well, I decided to repaint the kitchen.

First published: August 23, 2003

Mother's Day Wondering

Mom nad me,  couple years ago...

Mother’s Day is not my favorite holiday. Actually, I’m not a big fan of any holiday, as most of them seem to have evolved into things you need to buy and when you need to buy them by. Life is busy enough, why do we have to put MORE deadlines and shopping lists into it?

I saw one of my kids last Monday, when I helped him and his girlfriend clean his old apartment and the new house into which they are moving. Downing egg salad sandwiches and fancy soda pop, while sitting on the floor of their new living room – well, that was a nice party that I was glad to be at.

The Wedding Happened

If you know me, you know that my oldest child was married this past weekend.

In a glorious setting – Piper Hall at Loyola University, north side of Chicago, as evening settled itself over the city.

With Lake Michigan and a beautiful garden of lavender behind them.

With 100 family and friends sitting in front of them.

Wearing lovely clothes, smiles, confidence and tight shoes, my daughter and Peter married each other.

Effort, Not Place

where life happens

I came home from work (45 minutes late, wow what a Full Day), ate too many Oreo minis, looked at Words With Friends, was thinking about taking a quick nap … when I woke up from it.

A week ago I woke up at 4Am with a sensation best described as “someone put a blood pressure cuff on everything from my left elbow up to and including my heart.” So I did what the doctors later said was the only rational thing for a 61-year old woman from a family where a 48-year old and 51-year old died of heart attacks. I went to the hospital.

Celebrating Father's Day....

First Written June 18, 1999

I have just returned from a week in Utah and Colorado where I attended a family wedding in Grand Junction, Colo. It was a grand and energizing adventure.

I encountered dozens of interesting people on the trip, but the one I noticed most was the one who was not there. My husband didn't come along on this escapade. I soon discovered that an illuminating and entertaining way to contemplate Father’s Day is to try to be one. (Something single mothers have been saying all along.)


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