Saturday, December 31, 2005

My first "review"

This month I got to review a new children's museum which opened near our neighborhood. I was excited to see the museum, and excited to try something a little bit different with my writing - a review. It turned out I loved the museum and couldn't wait to take my kids there, so here is the glowing review.

"KidsQuest Children's Museum -- Exciting new Eastside space for fun and learning", ParentMap, January 2006

Write what you know

This is an article in which I got to be my own expert. My husband and I have had plenty of experience traveling with our two small children. Many of our friends and family think we're crazy (and some of our trips have occasionally bordered on insanity), but we love having the opportunity to expose them to new things. I'm confident it is good for their development, even if they're too young to remember the actual experiences.

"Holiday travel with babies and toddlers", ParentMap, December 2005

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Ask the experts

This was an easy one -- not much writing or interviewing. I just found a bunch of parenting experts and asked each one the same question, "What's the most important thing for new parents to know?" Here's what they said.

"Expert education tips for new parents", ParentMap, October 2005

Decisions, decisions

BabyMap runs a regular column called Decision Digest, where they summarize all sides of important issues that expectant and new parents face. In this issue, I tackled two questions: whether to bank cord blood for personal use, and using cloth diapers versus disposables.

"Decision digest -- Private cord blood banking and diapers", BabyMap, Fall/Winter 2005-2006

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Keeping love alive after baby arrives

Here's one where I have some hands-on experience -- maintaining a healthy marriage after kids join the family. My extraordinary husband and I will celebrate our 10th anniversary this year. We make time to care for each other and our relationship, as well as for our two young children.

"Keeping love alive after baby arrives", ParentMap, September 2005, pages 13-14

Monday, August 15, 2005

Book Review - Swimming with Maya

I picked up this book because the picture on the cover looks like my own daughter. When I read the back notes and learned that she was dead, I quickly put it back down. I didn’t want to read about Eleanor Vincent’s devastating loss. For some reason, though, I felt compelled to try to comprehend her experience.

What I found was indeed distressing, but inspirational at the same time. The book is in many ways a postmortem tribute to Vincent’s daughter and an exploration of the healing effects of organ donation. Taken in its entirety, however, this book is really about a journey through the process of healing from a lifetime of psychological traumas. The extreme grief over her daughter’s sudden death and the struggle to cope with it lead Vincent down buried paths of pain going all the way back to her childhood. She emerges transformed. She lost her daughter, but therein found herself, and we can’t help but applaud her success.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Jogging? Ugh.

I love hiking, but my bike has been parked for years and jogging has never been my thing. To look at me is to clearly see that I am not a great authority on fitness. Nevertheless, I accepted an assignment for an article on exercising outdoors with a child under two. Yes, I actually got out the sneakers and went jogging for this one, all in the name of research. I broke a sweat but had a good time. If you look closely, you can see I also took the photo.

"Get out and get fit -- with your baby", ParentMap, July 2005, page 13

Sunday, May 29, 2005

A little stretch

All of the articles I've written before this one have been on topics that I already knew something about or have had some firsthand experience with. Not this one! It was really fun to do, though. Most of the research came from interviews, so at first I was a little nervous. Everybody I talked to was so helpful and inspiring, however, that now I look forward to interviewing.

"Young teens need practice managing money", ParentMap, June 2005, pages 19-20

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Tiny article, but extremely important

Here is a very short article about a topic I am quite passionate about, umbilical cord blood. Several major hospitals in our area have teamed with the blood bank to collect and store the stem-cell rich cord blood and donate it to individuals in need through a national registry. Now something that is typically discarded can instead save lives -- magnificent.

"Donate cord blood and save a life", BabyMap, Spring/Summer 2005, page 4

[Note: Because this ran in the Postings section, it was not archived on the ParentMap web site, so there is no link to an online version. Sorry!]

Monday, April 04, 2005

A little flattery

It's always nice to receive compliments on your work. After doing the article and school profiles for Judy’s Book Greater Seattle, Liesel Pollvogt wrote:

Thanks Laurie--you did an *awesome* job on these. I was impressed with your quick turn-around, quality of writing, and how you instantly "got" what this was all about and were able to get started without a bunch of questions. Thanks again for your hard work and quick turn-around on this! There may well be work in the future if all goes well!

Friday, April 01, 2005

School profiles

In March, I worked on writing summaries for several schools based on survey data obtained from parents by Judy’s Book Greater Seattle, including:

  • 65th Street Cooperative Preschool

  • The Clearwater School

  • Epiphany School

  • French American School of Puget Sound

  • Hilltop Elementary School

  • The Nova Project

  • Pike Market Child Care and Preschool

  • The Evergreen School

  • Westside School

I also wrote an article for them entitled "A great preschool means a great fit."

[2007-06-01: Unfortunately, they seem to have taken down all of their articles and now have only community reviews and product deals, so my school summaries and article appear to be no longer available. Broken links have been removed.]