RECENT PINS

Benny Vrabel

Smart Mama: Kung Fu Mama

By Beth Vrabel

By BETH VRABEL “Remember to say, ‘Yes, sir,’” Benny, my 4-year-old, told me. “And bow, like this.” He bobbed, almost falling on his head. “Got it,” I told him as I tightened my belt. “Kung Fu Mama,” he giggled. We walked into Dover Dragons, the Tae Kwon Do stu... Read More

Smart Mama: Everyone has a mission

By Beth Vrabel

By BETH VRABEL Smart Mama Everyone has a mission in life. For me, I think it’s motherhood. I think I was put here on Earth to make sure 7-year-old Emma does her homework and 4-year-old Benny figures out how to count past 3. And also the unconditional loving, laundering and nurturing par... Read More

Imagination explosion

By Beth Vrabel

By BETH VRABEL “Hey, Fred,” Benny says casually as we stroll through the mall. “Who are you talking to?” I ask him. “My friend, Fred,” he answers and then slips his hand into the wooden one of a mannequin. “Oh,” I say, since no other response comes to mind. Benny, 4, makes n... Read More

The worst part of parenting

By Beth Vrabel

By BETH VRABEL I know the worst part of parenting, and it isn’t the diapers. It isn’t the sleepless nights, the crusty laundry or the semiannual sleep-with-a-bucket stomach bug. It’s this: Children have an uncanny way of reflecting what a jerk you can be. I recently told Benny, 4, tha... Read More

Shown up by a 3-year-old

By Beth Vrabel

By BETH VRABEL Let me tell you why getting your tonsils out about a month before your baby does is a bad situation. First, you know exactly how much it’s going to hurt, sending your Mama Bear hormones into hyperdrive. Second, your baby might just show you up. When my tonsils were remo... Read More

Only pigs can grow up to be bacon

By Beth Vrabel

Three is a tender age to have your dreams crushed. “I’m sorry,” I told little Benny as we walked hand-in-hand into Target, our bellies filled with summertime BLT sandwiches. “But that’s just not possible.” “But I want to!” he yelled. Really, he only has one volume: Loud. But th... Read More

Putting parenting ideals into practice

By Beth Vrabel

By BETH VRABEL Smart Mama When my daughter was born, I had a parenting plan — calm communication, strong but kind discipline and consistency in approach. Seven years, another child, and life battered those ideals. Just a bit. While I still aim to mindfully parent, there were just too ... Read More

Smart Mama: Summer vacation recap

By Beth Vrabel

By BETH VRABEL Smart Mama Early this summer, my husband Jon and I sat down and tried to figure out what we wanted to do with our vacation time. What would thrill 7-year-old Emma, who was so over princesses and fairies? What would be 3-year-old Benny’s best day ever? So far, his favorite thi... Read More

Imagination turns mom into a monster

By Beth Vrabel

"What a great imagination!" I hear this phrase a lot about my children. Such as when 3-year-old Benny shouts, "Shiver me timbers" from atop the playground, which he has turned into a pirate ship. Or when 6-year-old Emma draws a picture of Jasper, her dog, sitting behind a desk to give the evening... Read More

Mom’s the princess, for a change

By Beth Vrabel

Growing up, I never understood my mom's after-work routine. She would walk in the door in her suit, heels and jewelry, and immediately stride down the hall to her bedroom. Moments later, she'd emerge in decades-old sweat pants and a T-shirt to disappear again into the bathroom to scrub off the... Read More