Bio: Julie

Tom, Julie and Rae
  • Age: 42
  • Spouse: Tom
  • Kids: son Raphael (Rae), age 7
  • Pets: 4 fish at the moment
  • Hometown: Los Angeles, California
  • Writing: Writer and editor
Favorite time of day with my kids:The first 90 minutes of Saturday morning, spent in pajamas, reading stories, having a leisurely breakfast and enjoying not going anywhere...by minute 92 Rae is bouncing off the walls, and we're driving each other crazy. But the first 90 minutes are quite nice.

Most proud "Mom" moment: Every once in a while I'm able to put aside the part of myself who is itching to get the laundry done and kitchen cleaned up and really dig into playtime with Rae. One Saturday he started talking about making a fort and I began hunting for the right kind of supports — a yard stick, a curtain rod — to prop up couch cushions. We draped towels and blankets over the cracks to make a roof. I let him eat a snack in there. I even allowed the whole tawdry assemblage to remain while friends came for dinner the next day. Everyone had to sit on the floor.

Least proud "Mom" moment: I was doling out a "consequence" one day and completely botched it. I had told Rae I was going to remove his Lego construction if he continued to ignore me. Anger got the better of me and "removing" the lego construction turned into lifting the whole thing a few inches off the floor and allowing it to smash in a million little pieces all over the rug. A very confusing ending...hours later I rebuilt it and Rae seemed more preoccupied with my mistakes that day than his.

Funniest thing my kids have said or done lately: My son has learned the lyrics to a popular pop tune on the playground — he insists the words are "ain't no hollerback grrrr."

Best decision I ever made: To turn our 10th wedding anniversary into an at-home family dinner celebration. Facing logistical hurdles at every turn, my husband and I could not manage to plan anything interesting — couldn't even get a sitter for dinner out that night. I was about to give in to despair that this major milestone was slipping away unobserved until I got the idea to have a candle-lit dinner at home for the three of us, with cake, wine, and fizzy cider, and dancing after dinner to songs from our wedding. No one was disappointed!

If money were no object... I have a thousand places in mind I'd like to visit with my son. Castles in England, Greek temples, Mayan ruins, etc.

Childhood tradition I'm continuing with my child: My parents always spent a lot of time outside with projects — raking the yard, growing flowers and vegetables. From a very young age I've encouraged Rae to be outside and "help" me in our tiny Los Angeles yard — digging, raking, messing around. Last year we grew several sunflowers. This year we have our hearts set on tomatoes and basil!

Best thing about my husband: His amazing patience — he can often tolerate a lot more of our son's shenanigans than I can.

Biggest parenting challenge: My son likes to test me and I have to work to keep my cool. Sometimes I have to give myself a time-out to avoid blowing up and making a mistake.

Favorite family dinner: My husband has a talent for producing delicious dinners for the three of us — our fave is frittata with red pepper and goat cheese.

The most important thing I can teach my children: To be respectful of other people.

The biggest lesson I've learned from my child: I've learned that it's not the end of the world if I make a mistake or need to change my mind about something. It's okay to explain to my son later that I made a mistake, and need to change a decision I made.
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