Archives for kid-friendly

I’m Not That Mom

Like most parents, I have my ups and downs—typically not in equal parts, but overall I think I get the job done well. My kids still smile when they see me.  And some may argue that I do a bit too much for them. But there are just some things that I will not, cannot, and or refuse to do. You’re Thirsty? Again?!?! I remember when Zain was a wee thing and we were out on an excursion when a friend reached into her stroller and pulled out a sippy cup that rattled.  As I looked at her with bewilderment, she

When a Book Is So Much More

I have always been an avid reader.  Growing up our school I rocked the Reading Olympics that helped raise money for the March of Dimes.  I would like to say that I crushed that fundraiser every year because I was very philanthropic at a young age, but truth be told, I just wanted a gold metal in a “sport” that didn’t require sweating (or athleticism) and loved to read.  So my best friend Molly and I would head to the library and literally get more books than we could carry and tuck ourselves in for a weekend of binge reading–who needed Netflix in

I Am Grateful For…

Each Ramadan and Thanksgiving we don our wall with our Grateful Cards.  Each card says, “Today I am Grateful For…” and then each of us lists what we are grateful for that day.  There is no wrong answer, but the only rule is you can’t use your same answer twice.  Through their answers I’ve learned a lot about my children.  Zain is the diplomat and always gives lofty answers like my family, the food that we have to eat, my teachers, etc.  My little guy is still using what is top of mind or what he can see in the

You Just Need to Flip

When I was in college one of my favorite movies was Cutting Edge, which was about a figure skater that had exhausted all of her partner choices because she drove them all away, and the only skater they could find to couple her with was an ex hockey player. You can probably figure out the story line. They hate each other…they fight a lot…and little by little they start to fall for each other. In one of the scenes the lead female talks about how she’s feeling and likening it to two magnets. They were like magnets that were resisting

No Finish Line In Sight

Every Sunday is laundry day at our house.  We strip all of the beds, throw in the towels and rake up the boys’ bedroom floor and blitz the laundry pile.  By bedtime, we have fresh clean tightly made beds, fluffy towels and stuffed drawers.  It’s all done.  Until we look around and realize that we are all wearing clothes that are about to be put into the hamper and there begins the process again. There is no such thing as forever done with laundry. While we can finish a meal, a book, and a predetermined race, almost everything else is

A Frayed Knot

The Durranis are serial road trippers (as most of you probably already know) and as we plot, prepare and pack, everyone has the same response, “How can you be in the car that much? What do you do that whole time? Don’t you want to kill each other?” Our longest trip (of three) this summer included just over 3,500 miles and 64.5 hours of driving time. That doesn’t include all of the family time spent outside of the car those 10 days. That’s just the amount of time we were all four sitting within feet of each other cruising across

4 Survival Tips for Summer

As a kid there is nothing better than summer vacation–late nights, late mornings, no homework, more junk food, more TV and endless play time.  At least that is how I remember it in the 70s when I was growing up.  And while I never sensed that my mom was going out of her mind at the time, she had to have had her moments.  As I “work” through another summer with my boys, here are my four survival tips for summer that I learned from my mom! #1. Great Summer Care is Not Easy to Find My mom opened a

Bring Back May Day

I moved to Boston in 1994 (yikers!) fresh out of Iowa State and I was an anomaly within my firm.  I worked within an interior architectural firm where nearly everyone was from New England.  They for the life of them could not remember where I was from.  At one point I photocopied a map of the United States and x-ed through Idaho, Ohio, Illinois and Indiana with a big circle around Iowa with arrows pointing to it and I posted it over the photocopier.  Not only was I strange for being from anywhere but the Northeast, I also brought with me

Zucchini Cupcakes

I am always trolling the “day old” section at the grocery store in the produce department.  They typically put out things that aren’t perfect enough to sell at the going rate, but still completely useable.  My favorite items to look for are brown bananas that I freeze for smoothies and banana “ice cream” and then zucchini.  The zucchini can be used for these decadent cupcakes that seem healthy in concept, but deliver on their dessert promise.  And then also my zucchini pancakes or zucchini bread–both family crowd pleasers!  These can also be made with any of the summer squash and/or with shredded

Tried and True School Lunches

I hate (and hate is a strong word) packing lunches. And that’s genetic. I’ve told the story before of how my mom refused to make us boxed lunch.  We would always have to buy and it completely bummed me out.  Until I was a mom.  Now I totally get it! So to make it more palatable (for all of us), I’ve tried to approach it as a challenge versus a chore.  In doing so, I posted Zain’s lunch every day for three weeks earlier in the year to see how long I could go without repeating.  And I’m happy with