How It’s Done Blog


When the Wind Blows in Better Weather

When things are tumultuous, I tend to expect them to get worse, not better. But I’ve realized I’m often wrong.

What If You Just Did One Thing at A Time? Really Just One Thing.

I can really only do one thing at a time. You could call that Unitasking, or Monotasking, or my favorite—being human, since no one can really do more than one thing at a time—but whatever you call it, it’s how I work best.

How To Get Out of the Rabbit Hole

I looked up at the clock and realized: the rabbit hole had nabbed me again.

Let the Darkness In

The weather has been so glorious. I’ve been on an epic high of good cheer and outdoor adventure. I kind of need it to stop.

When Homework Engulfs the Whole House

Every night, when she opens her math homework, the drama begins. “I need help. I can’t do this.” She can—but it’s hard, and why not make everyone else suffer with you?

The Richest Months

I love spring and I love summer—and I ADORE Halloween—but the coming season is the real meat of the year.

My Name Is KJ, and I Meditate.

I used to meditate sneakily, because one of the reasons I meditate is that my mind is filled with all kinds of negative commentary on stuff like … meditating. But I’ve had to come out of the closet.

Here’s What’s Wrong with the Anti-Helicopter Parent’s Backyard (Hint: He’s Still Hovering)

The parent who created the Playborhood may not be helicoptering, but he’s hovering just the same. Only instead of saying “be careful,” he’s saying “jump.”

Right Here, Right Now: Are You Where You Want to Be, Doing What You Want to Do?

So, are you? Feel free to skip right down and just tell me your answer in the comments, but here’s why I’m asking.

Win 10 Fall Books from My September List!

Win all the books from my September books post, and a few more!

Sane Scheduling Part Three: Don’t Do This.

I’ve been working on The Sane Family’s Guide to Scheduling, and I had a little something left over that just didn’t fit anywhere. So, herewith, a few random things that I try to keep in mind when adding things to my schedule:   1. Never put anything on Monday, especially Monday morning. First off, Mondays are hard enough. Second, me, I forget things on Mondays. I want to be someone who looks at her calendar on Sunday and plans the […]

Am I Introverted, or Just Rude?

I’m shy, yes. But am I also rude? In a contest between my manners and my preferences, am I allowing my preferences to win?

Choose Your Own Verb: Are You Where You Need, Want or Are Meant to Be?

Do you do what you need to, what you choose to, or what you’re meant to—and does the difference matter?

My Actual Writing Morning, 10 AM-1PM, Annotated.

Let’s just say not everything that happened this morning was strictly work. Probably especially not the Cheez-Its.

You Know You Need Something New to Read

2 novels. 2 memoirs. 4 nonfiction. If you’re looking for a good read, look no further.

The Right Way to Bribe Your Kids to Read

My children need to read this summer. They’re in the middle of a long vacation from school, and I want them to enjoy it — but I also want them to be able to pick up their education where they left off when school starts again in the fall.

Kids who read over the summer lose fewer skills than kids who don’t. This is especially important for children from low-income families and those with language problems, like my younger daughter. When reading is difficult, so is almost everything else. As new readers move from decoding text to fluency, every subject from math to history becomes more accessible, but practice is the only way to get there.

Use It Up, Wear It Out: why we should quit saving stuff for later

So I bought these charcoal exfoliating wipes at Sephora. They’re really quite fantastic. One side cleans, and the other is all nubbly and exfoliating (thus the name). I’m delighted with them. I’m trying to fade a brown spot on the side of my face, and I think they will speed the process along. There is only one problem. I used one yesterday. And I used one tonight. And there are only 25 in the package. So there are only 23 […]

Six Signs Your Parent Is Over-scheduled

Look out, kids. Over-schedule your parents, and you might just find yesterday’s lunch trash in today’s lunch.

Yeah, or I Could Wait Until They Come Home from School and Make Things Worse

I know it’s hard for kids to transition from school. I know coming home to your lame family after a great trip with your friends is tough.  I swear I went into the pick up line excited to get everyone back for a beautiful afternoon. I was thinking swimming,  maybe ice cream I’m not entirely sure I can tell you exactly how it ended up with me declaring that maybe, if they were lucky, something–car accident, terrorist attack–would get their […]

I Woke Up Grumpy, So I Dragged Everyone Else Down, Too.

I know better, but I did it anyway.