November 10, 2008

BabyTime: Good Time

Askme I just spent three whirlwind days at the BabyTime show in Toronto. I spent part of my time hanging out in the Ask Ann Douglas kiosk (picture Lucy's "The Psychiatrist is In" advice stand -- but without the 5 cent fee). The rest of the time, I led rounds of pregnancy bingo, baby bingo, or parenting bingo. Parents competed for the chance to win fabulous prizes -- those fabulous prizes being copies of my books (I was the one providing the prizes: what do you want?) -- and a good time was had by some/most/all.

It was a fun way to spend a weekend. I got a chance to visit five relatives and one friend in my so-called spare time (that spare time occurring before 10 am or after 7 pm each day, you have to understand).

And today....well, today I'm totally exhausted. But it was totally worth it. I can catch up on email and the rest of my life tomorrow.

Before I left town on Thursday, I blogged at about baby planners (the baby-world equivalent of a wedding planner) -- and, over at Yahoo! Canada, I wrote about the importance of reacting with compassion, not judgment, when tragedy strikes a family with a troubled teen.

November 03, 2008

Game Plan: Family Emergency Mode

35318862 Sometimes life gets intense. Like right now, with both my husband's parents in the hospital at once. I'm focusing on taking good care of myself, good care of him, and good care of the kids.

I'm also trying to get my pregnancy book revisions finished so that I will have one less thing to think about.

Right now, it's all about maximizing health (flu shot time; got to book that mammogram), taking care of the family (family nutrition reno), and using my work time in a more deliberate and focused manner.

I'm sure you have words of wisdom to add.

  • What do you do when a family emergency shows up on your radar screen?
  • What are your best coping strategies?

October 30, 2008

Mother Musings and More

Parentcentrallogo My latest column over at ParentCentral is a rather from-the-heart post about my metamorphosis as a mother. (Hey, if you're going to do a job like mothering for 20+ years, you'd better learn a few things along the way. I mean, it's not like it's the best paid job on the planet.)

Anyway, while I was searching for relevant links to add to the post (there's nothing more boring than a link-free blog post, after all), I stumbled upon this infertility Q & A I was asked to answer for The site is edited by Nadine and boasts contributions by some very talented contributors, whose names will be familiar to people who've been reading this blog (meaning its previous blogspot incarnation) for a long time. Nadine even has a piece from my writer-buddy Dr. Joey, who I will continue to adore despite the fact that she disses coffee in this column.

And speaking of nice new parenting sites on the Canadian block, I really like what Sarah and Minnow are doing with Moms are naturally inclined to want to share their wisdom with one another. Why not make it easier for moms to find great advice by providing the technical tools to allow this to happen?

October 29, 2008

The Science of Birth Order: Another Tool for Your Parenting Tool Kit


Your firstborn isn't necessarily destined to be an overachiever; nor does your youngest child have to feel doomed to spend her entire life living down -- or living up to -- her older brother or sister's reputation.

Birth order influences the way we fit into our families and the way we relate to the world. Learning about birth order can help you to understand and bring out the best in your child. I was recently interviewed on this subject by Lilan Patri of We TV.

October 28, 2008

Minimizing Holiday Stress: A Quick Guide

7620827 I ended up hosting myself at the City Parent forums last night, so rather then carrying on a conversation with myself, I decided to put together this guide to minimizing consumerism and reducing holiday stress (with more info to come).

As you can see, I am totally loving the "create a page" feature here at Typepad.

October 27, 2008

Errors, Omissions, and, Please, Bring Me Up to Date on Your Life....

1sign2 First things first. I've created a parenting resources section, which contains a lot of the content which used to be housed on the old blog. This way, I could make room for a lot of new content. (See the top right-hand corner of the blog for a list of pages.) If your link was on the old blog, would you please check to see if the link is still up-to-date? If you know your link should be there (because you know I adore you), but it's not, would you please add it to the comments section of that page? That way, I can tackle all the cleanup all at once (one of the reasons I switched to TypePad: to make my blogging life a whole lot simpler).

Secondly, it's almost a year to the day since my son's Aspergers syndrome diagnosis. I'm starting to feel like my life is getting back on track. (That's just part of the story, but it's enough for you to grasp in one sentence!) I'm finally starting to reach out to the outside world again after a year of quiet reflection and a lot of thinking and learning on many, many fronts. (I'll be writing a lot about this, both on and off the blog.)

But here's my question for you. How have you been? What's new with you? Potty Training Math

Womanmanarrows Is there a potty in your future? (Or, rather, your toddler's?) If so, you might want to sign up for this quick and almost pain-free crash course in potty training math.

Worth Noting: Reaching an Autistic Teenager by Melissa Fay Greene: New York Times Magazine

“You meet one child with autism and, well, you’ve met one child with autism,” says Linda Brandenburg, the director of school autism services at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Maryland. Given the wide range of expression in autism and related disorders, there is no one-size-fits-all intervention. “We now know that there are several different models that seem to work — some more behavioral, some more developmental, some more eclectic,” Dr. Fred R. Volkmar, director of the Yale Child Study Center, told me. “What we really need to be doing, what the law says, is design programs around the kids rather than force kids into a program.”
- Melissa Fay Greene, Reaching an Autistic Teenager, New York Times Magazine

October 26, 2008

Halloween Trash Talk

"It's a testament to the miracles of modern packaging science that they can get so little product into so much packaging (the classic case being those miniature bags of potato chips that are so full of air that they seem destined to become airborne at any moment).

It just doesn't seem right to hit the stores with reckless abandon, loading up on all kinds of Halloween "bling." So what's an environmentally conscious mom or dad to do, given that the kids still want to have their fun — and only the dentist down the street can get away with handing out toothbrushes and dental floss?

Here's what I hope will be the start of a Halloween mom-i-festo — a refusal to inflict any more useless and tacky trash on the landfills of the nation. Care to add your two cents or more?"

- From Green Halloween: Start Thinking About Eco-Friendly Alternatives to Scary Halloween Waste by Ann Douglas

Blog Talk: The Tricky Task of Choosing Halloween Treats

The New Home of The Mother of All Blogs

Numbertwo I've been meaning to move my original blog -- the one I launched in May 2004 -- to a new home for a couple of years. For whatever reason, I was inspired to take the plunge this weekend.

What I've decided to do is to make this blog my new parenting home base. I am going to use it to throw to my regular blog columns at Yahoo! Parenting and The Toronto Star's When I do that, I'm going to turn off comments here in order to encourage the conversation to take place where the blog posts are hosted rather than having the conversation take place both here and there.

I'm also going to dash off posts over here whenever the mood strikes, either to highlight a cool piece of research from the world of pregnancy and parenting or simply to let you know how my life as a parent is going. (We've got a lot of catching up to do on that front, faithful readers. But all in good time. A blog can't be rebuilt in a day.)

- Ann

The content from the old blog is going to remain at the old blog. I can't see the point of moving old posts over here. Besides they are from a different time in my life. It makes sense to make the break between "old blog" and "new blog"; "then" and "now" for more than just technical reasons. More on that as I get back up to blogging speed in the days ahead.

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