Personalize your own misery index

Economists have a mythical figure called the misery index. It is the total of the unemployment rate added to the inflation rate. This summer in the U.S. it’s running about 13.0. The lower the better. In both the 90’s and ‘0’s it’s been as low as 7. To calculate indexes like this, the conclusion can […]

Last chance for your summer vacation

Disney cruise

Kathy Witt The kids have read all their books, played every video game and watched all their favorite reruns – at least a half dozen times. They’ve attended camp and gone on countless play dates, running Mom and Dad ragged in the process. They’ve reached that point of summer break where they claim – loudly […]

Herding Squirrels: The long dry season

Traci Arbios For those of us in blended-family land, it’s been a long, long summer. I never exactly know how to feel about this particular season. My husband and I are the primary parents to our massive brood of kids; but come summer, visitation schedules change, culling our herd. How would I describe it? By […]

Child Sense: Creating a keepsake of your summer memories

Priscilla J. Dunstan Summer holidays can seem like they go on forever, and when they end, it’s very easy for little kids to forget all the exciting things they did. By creating a memory keepsake, you will be able to help your child remember and also produce a keepsake for years to come. Tactile children […]

Celebrity Baby Scoop: Tori Spelling says ‘The third pregnancy is for sure harder’

Pregnant Tori Spelling and Family Go Shopping

Jenny Schafer What are the must-haves for summer 2011? Just ask celeb mom Tori Spelling. The actress and best-selling author has handpicked the products of the season which are all available at her new store InvenTORI in Sherman Oaks, Calif. and on her website, www.torispelling.com/. When she’s not searching out the hottest items, the expectant […]

Summer fun and games: A couple of new toys to help fend off the summertime doldrums

Base Camp Shelter kids toy

Disney FamilyFun magazine It’s bound to happen sometime during the summer break – no matter how overscheduled the kids seem – they will at some point begin to complain of boredom. That’s when you can break out these two items. You will be Hero Mom for fighting off the Monster of Dull, and they will […]

Child Sense: Try to give your child some control when their routine is disrupted in the summer

Priscilla J. Dunstan Summer break is upon us, bringing the inevitable mix of travel, visitors and changing sleeping arrangements. Children’s bedrooms turn into guest rooms for friends and relatives, suitcases replace closets as families travel, and children go off to camp. Though exciting, this can also be very stressful to children, who lose not only […]

Rewarding reading: Keep your kid reading this summer

summer reading rewards

Disney FamilyFun magazine Encourage your kids to read all summer with an add-a-bead bookmark. At the beginning of the summer, buy beads that your child will find enticing: letters that spell out his name, for example, or some shaped like bugs or animals. Tie one plain bead to the end of a yarn lace, and […]

Summer learning helps keep children’s minds sharp

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Russell Anglin Clovis Municipal Schools teacher and mother of one, Gwyn Del Toro understands the importance of having her son Matthew hit the books before he starts kindergarten in the fall. She said Matthew has been an active library patron this summer. “He likes the ‘I Spy’ books but then we get a bunch of […]

Beg, budget or steal: Three ways to deal with the end-of-school blues

Paula Sirois Like dental appointments and the DMV, the end of the school year is just another thing I tend to deny (for as long as possible). But school ends whether I like it or not, and whether I’m prepared for it or not. This year I vowed to be prepared _ to be that […]