Protecting your child from identity theft

Chief Mom Officer recently posted about tax identity and corporate identity theft, followed by a great piece on protecting children's identity. She posts: 27% of child identity theft crimes are committed by people who know the child – friends or family members, sometimes even parents. The remaining 73% of crimes are committed by criminals who steal the child’s information either through a data breach or good old-fashioned theft. They then create a synthetic identity for the social security number, using the real number combined with a fake date of birth to steal the identity and use it – likely undetected – for years. The entire post is worth a read: Thieves Are Coming For Your Children - Protect Their Identities. I recently started … [Read more...]

Chai recipe for these cold winter mornings

My favorite chai recipe: Bring to a boil 2:1 ratio of Black tea:Lipton in ~2c water Add the following whole spices. I usually just toss a couple of each in to the pot or tea sock. Star anise Cardamom Whole cloves Allspice Cinnamon (half a stick) Ginger (bash up some slices) Bay leaves Turn heat off Add palm sugar to taste Add 1 cup whole milk at the last part … [Read more...]

Holiday windows in NYC

It's been a while since I posted. The NYC existence is more hyper-paced and complex than life was in Asia! On the one hand, there's endless resources, not to mention a good network of similarly-minded families. I love the seasons, the snow and Christmas! Then on the other hand, I've never met so many medicated people before (e.g., Xanax)! Not sure if that's a reflection of the circles I end up interacting with..? I'm sure the political situation has no small impact on this. For sure, the US environment is shockingly different after 11 years abroad, but it's a more sobering change than a positive one. Anyway.. back to the cheerier topic of the holidays. We're under a cold spell this past week but, unluckily enough (or maybe luckily!), we … [Read more...]

Pine cones and sticks and rocks oh my

'Tis the season. What do you do with all the sticks and rocks and pine cones that the kids drag in throughout the year? And the toys they've outgrown but have a special place in your memory? Repurpose and get creative with the Christmas decor, that's what. … [Read more...]

Doll companies I’m happy to support

At the time we lived in Southeast Asia there was a growing but tiny industry of local crafters that made blocks, stuffed animals, kitchen sets or doll houses, and other toys. We spent a lot on those, but they were locally sourced and well-crafted. Coming back to NY was a different story. Options, wow. The pop culture focus of the toy industry, a profit-over-people corporate ethos, the consumerist culture - it's over the top after several years abroad. My little girl hit the doll phase this year and has been asking for one. But finding a toy company I'm happy to support is hard enough; Barbie, American Girl, and other chain store brands whose company values hew to the mainstream for profit's sake won't be getting my business. … [Read more...]

#KidLit for encouraging girls’ education

The challenge of educating girls (worldwide) is a complex topic, involving the myriad responsibilities placed on them by their households and communities. High opportunity costs make this a volatile issue for many poor rural families. With firsthand exposure to this important issue, it's not a new conversation to our kids. This book makes it approachable. It's a particularly common problem in Cambodia. It's capital, Phnom Penh, adapted quickly to the fast-paced world around it soon after emerging from decades of conflict. But progress is slow to reach those less affluent and villages outside of the capital city and tourist towns like Siem Reap with Angkor Wat and Sihanoukville with its beaches. The gap between the educated and … [Read more...]

Easy indoor vermicomposting in NYC

My family and I just moved to NYC, and don't have the outdoor space we had while living in Asia. So at first we just took food scraps to drop off when we shopped at the Greenmarket - New York City's farmers' market network - which is where we met Pamela, our market compost coordinator. … [Read more...]

to homeschool or not in nyc?

Catching up on some long-overdue reading about homeschooling. Had no idea how big a movement it is, but I'm not surprised. From The Profound Ways that Schooling Harms Society, perfectly capturing why more parents are taking this route: ...interesting not only to look at what your children are required to learn in school, but at what they are not required to learn.  While your kids are very busy toiling over algebra and chemistry, international trade agreements are being forged and currencies are being manipulated by entities that most Americans don’t even know the names of, much less the inner workings of.  Kids are compelled to solve quadratic equations and write essays on Shakespeare, and they graduate without understanding how to … [Read more...]