I Have Alopecia (A Post By My Mom)

A year ago, my mom's hair fell out. All of it, seemingly out of nowhere. I am so grateful to her for telling her story here.

I used to have really pretty hair. Then - suddenly - it was gone. All of it. I should feel sad. Or angry. Or something. But I don’t.

In early January 2018, my hair started to fall out. Every morning when I brushed my hair, I would end up holding handfuls of it. After a week or so, I went to my hairdresser. She confirmed I was suffering some hair loss, and artfully arranged my cut so it wouldn't show. After another week or so I couldn't hide the growing bald spots.

I bought a hat. 


Handling Shared Custody In the Era of Coronavirus: All Your Questions, Answered by Professionals

I woke up this morning to the news that all of California has been put under shelter-in-place restrictions, wherein residents are only permitted to leave their homes for "essentials." This news is understandably jarring for a bunch of reasons, but it poses some additional questions for those of us who share custody of children with another human being who is not, currently, sheltered in the same place.

As with...oh, everything else, this is an unprecedented situation, with no hard-and-fast answers. So I reached out to attorney Cheri Bell of Daprile-Bell Family Law Offices and parenting and relationship coach Graziella Simonetti of Your Parenting Pals to get some guidance on how to proceed in the best interests of our kids.

What issues specific to divorced or separated parents with children can you imagine arising during these times?


Home School

The little "schoolhouse" I put together late last night because anxiety = insomnia.

Remember the other day, when I posted that it was okay to handle this in whatever g-d way you want? My way is apparently to become a scheduling beast. Now, to be clear, that doesn't mean that I'm sticking to the the schedule I put together for us hard-and-fast - I've been adjusting daily based on sleep/energy/mood - but it is unbelievably helpful to be able to point to a piece of paper hanging on the wall and say "See that? That says lunch is in ten minutes. Give me TEN. MINUTES."

Here, in case you'd like to copy/paste, is our daily schedule (based on the template that you can find if you scroll to the end of this post - it was suggested by my friend Erin, who is both a third-grade teacher and the parent of a third-grader and a first grader). Please note that nowhere in this schedule does it say "Time allocated specifically for Mom to write her book that is due in one month." We're working on that part. (Holy Jesus this is stressful y'all.)


How to Have a Healthy Relationship with Your Tech During This Dystopian Nightmare

Folk Rebellion founder Jess Davis has made a career of urging people to find meaningful connections through creativity in this screened-in world - and now seems like a better time to listen to her advice than ever.  Sign up for Folk Rebellion's newsletter here. (And because it's topical, just a reminder that The Big Activity Book for Digital Detox is now available for pre-order.)

The world is suddenly very, very, VERRRRRRRYYYYYY…online.

Yup. Sure! There’s many ways tech is helping us all cope, connect and get the info we need. But there’s also the dark side - which poses all the usual conundrums from tech and digital, but is significantly more magnified in the whole is-the-world-ending? sort of way.

So! Here’s my handy-dandy guide to help YOU manage your tech in trying times, not the other way around.


Resources To Keep Your Family (Mostly) Sane During School Closures (UPDATED DAILY)

I'm still out of the country - we're in an area that so far has had no issues getting back to the US, so I'm coming home tomorrow, on the day we originally planned...but I think it goes without saying that I hadn't exactly planned on coming home to this. Our school district - like so many of yours - has announced that it'll be closed at least though the end of April, and if the issues that these closures present for a work-at-home-mother such as myself are overwhelming, I can only imagine what so many others are struggling with. 

So let's strategize. Here's a list of ideas and resources for handling this extended period of self-isolating with our kids without going (completely) insane - and thanks to those of you who contributed ideas via my Insta. Keep 'em coming - I'll be updating this list as more arise.

  • Go here for age-appropriate tips on how to talk to your kids about coronavirus.
  • Check out some (SUPER fun) cooking activities and easy-to-follow recipes on Raddish Kids.
  • Take virtual tours of twelve world-famous museums, from New York's Guggenheim to Paris's Musee d'Orsay.
  • Loving Earth Parenting has ideas for keeping "Reluctant Homeschoolers" out of the rafters.
  • Here is a list of educational companies offering free services and subscriptions for the duration of the school closings.
  • Alex Kids makes great kids' crafting kits. - MyFoundHome
  • Shaving cream and kids' shaving kits to make bathtime looooong and fun. - Olivia
  • Pre-K Pages offers free downloadable educational pages and e-books. 
  • Busy Toddler's Instagram has tons of great ideas for simple crafts and activities.
  • Buy a few extra activities and games for the kids on Amazon. - Luisa
  • Consult this article to find out what to stock your fridge with. - Luisa
  • Teachers Pay Teachers offers inexpensive lesson plans created by teachers for their fellow educators.
  • Make YouTube playlists on topics that interest your kids, so you can hit "play" and have them learn while you work. - MyFoundHome
  • Cosmic Kids yoga for daily PE and stress relief. - MyFoundHome
  • Kids Activities Blog offers screen-free ideas, virtual field trips, and more.
  • Mystery Science has tons of open-and-go science projects.
  • This site created free daily printable worksheets for every grade level (!!!!).
  • This Scholastic site has daily reading lessons for third-to-fifth graders (highly recommended by my friend who is both a third-grade teacher and the parent of a third-grader).
  • Each weekday at at 1:00 pm ET, Mo Willems (author of the Don't Let the Pigeon books, Knuffle Bunny and many more) will host an episode of Lunch Doodles where he teaches the kids how to draw.
  • Each weekday at 3:00pm ET the Cincinnati Zoo will host a live Home Safari video highlighting one animal at the zoo and including an activity you can do at home.
  • Math Before Bed is an awesome resource with images, patterns and puzzles that you can discuss with your child.
  • The Monterey Bay Aquarium has ten different webcams focused on different animals, and students can choose which ones they'd like to watch.
  • Mad Science offers great, easy at-home science experiments.
  • Fun At-Home Activities for Dogs and Kids from the American Kennel Club

If there's anything specific content you'd like to see from RG during this challenging time, please let me know. And stay safe, my friends. We're in this together, and we'll get through this together.

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