March kicks off several “National” things, such as Caffeine Awareness Month (drinking coffee right now – super aware of caffeine!), Frozen Food AND Nutrition Month and also, Trisomy Awareness Month. Trisomy is three copies of a chromosome – for example, Down syndrome, which is 3 copies of the 21st chromosome. 

National Procrastination Week starts on the 5th. Or the 6th. Whenever you get around to it. Next week (March 5-11) is also Words Matter week (so stop using the word ‘retard’!) And National Aardvark Week. I’ll be getting in on that one somehow, because aardvarks are cute.

Oh! Act Happy Week is March 20-26, but I’ll just be honest – every week is Act Happy week for me. If you can’t actually be happy, just fake it, right?

And the most important day – March 21 – World Down Syndrome Day! 

Today is Spread The Word To End The Word Day. So head over here to learn more about why you should stop using the word ‘retard’ and its many forms (celebutard, libtard, f***tard, etc). Just stop. It’s not cool. It’s offensive, no matter how you try to spin it.  

Beth Hardinger Blog

Same Stuff, Different Day

Hannah and I finished cleaning the house this morning before the inspection, which was fine, I think.

My mom decided to Down the night with us, so we met at Costco for dinner then went to Target to find swimsuits for our upcoming trip to the Twin Cities. (We also bought some Valentine’s Day candy-including Ghirardelli truffles-only at Target around Valentine’s Day.) 

The kids went to bed way too late and I can’t sleep because the country is sinking further and further into the pits of hell. But the kids want donuts for breakfast, so I’m clinging to any little shred of happiness. 

Beth Hardinger Blog

Somebody Famous

As I was watching the shit show that is our government, I got an email from Avery’s teacher, saying they were starting a writing unit on biographies, so she needed to write about somebody famous. The first person that popped into my mind was the creator of Doc McStuffins, Chris “Doc” Nee.

I’ll be posting Avery’s writing here when she’s finished.


Lauren is going on a field trip, to a camp for people with disabilities. I like this camp, and what they are doing, but I wish they had more activities for younger people with disabilities. Everything they post looks so fun, but it’s only for adults. There really isn’t anything for Lauren to do around here, with other kids her age. (And yes, I’ve tried to start things multiple times. Hard to do when we don’t know anyone else with disabilities.)

Beth Hardinger Blog

(Avery was reading 47 Strings to the kids.)




A New Month

It’s shaping up to be another dumpster fire of a year (although on Twitter, someone mentioned that 2017 is more like an outhouse fire. I like that.) We’re losing everything that we took for granted.

Lauren was sick Monday night and Tuesday. The rest of us are just waiting to get it, so that’ never fun. I don’t know what to make for meals and I make sure the whole house is picked up.

We have an inspection on Friday. It’s not too big of a deal, since for once, my house is pretty clean. It’s sort of nice not knowing when there will be an inspection, so I make sure to keep it extra clean and tidy. Yeah, some of the closets are a little cluttered, but the kids have so many clothes, it’s hard to know which ones to keep and which to donate.

I’ve been glued to Twitter, trying to figure out if She Who Shall Not Be Named will be in charge of my children’s educations. Outrageous. Just outrageous.

Anyway, it was -12 with the windchill today, but we needed to get outside and run off some energy. By the time we walked the three minutes to the beginning of the trail, I was ready to head back (forgot my gloves like a bad Minnesotan, and my fingers froze while I was trying to take photos.) I made the kids run back and forth on a short length of trail, then we went back home to warm up ad fold five loads of laundry.

Beth Hardinger Blog

Tomorrow’s a new day.

Multicultural Children’s Book Day!

The Barefoot Book of Children

The Barefoot Book of Children

written by Tessa Strickland, Kate DePalma and Illustrated by David Dean; published by Barefoot Books

I received this beautiful book from Macy Koch, from Barefoot Books

The Barefoot Book of Children shows how kids all over the world eat, play, get ready for the day, celebrate holidays and speak.

My girls (3,7 & 9) were so excited to open up this book and start reading! There is so much to look at – they find something new each time they read it. Our favorite thing about the book, other than the gorgeous illustrations, was the Closer Look pages. It really helped them see all of the different languages and countries where other children live. We gave this book 10 out of 10 stars!

For a fun activity, I had the kids draw what their lives look like. Hannah drew a smiley face, Lauren drew a girl with long dark hair, a piece of pizza and monkey bars (her favorite things). Avery drew a cat, cheese pizza and some books. (Before I could take a photo of their masterpieces, Avery brought them to school to show her teacher, along with the book, and the drawings didn’t come back home.)


The Secret Seahorse - Book #6 - Mermaid Tales book series by children's author Debbie Dadey

Mermaid Tales Book 6: The Secret of the Seahorse

written by Debbie Dadey, published by Simon & Schuster

“Book Summary: Echo is terrible at spelling, but she loves one of the words in this week’s test-sea horse. When Rocky brags that he has a sea horse no one believes him. But when Rocky lets her ride his pet Echo is beyond happy. Her sister, Crystal, tells Echo it isn’t right to put a leash on a sea horse. Now, Echo doesn’t know what to think. Is it wrong to keep sea horses as pets?”

My 7 year old had so much fun reading this book! She kept asking questions about sea horses, so I went to the author’s site, where she links to a youtube video about them. She learned about having pets, which animals could be pets and being a good pet owner. We are putting the whole Mermaid Tales series on Avery’s wish list for upcoming holidays and her birthday. (And I am ordering the first two this weekend!) We are looking forward to reading the whole series together!

Beth Hardinger Blog

The Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017 (1/27/17) is its fourth year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Our mission is to raise awareness on the ongoing need to include kid’s books that celebrate diversity in home and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents and educators.

Despite census data that shows 37% of the US population consists of people of color, only 10% of children’s books published have diversity content. Using the Multicultural Children’s Book Day holiday, the MCBD Team are on a mission to change all of that.

Current Sponsors:  MCBD 2017 is honored to have some amazing Sponsors on board. Platinum Sponsors include ScholasticBarefoot Books and Broccoli. Other Medallion Level Sponsors include heavy-hitters like Author Carole P. RomanAudrey PressCandlewick PressFathers IncorporatedKidLitTVCapstone Young Readers, ChildsPlayUsa, Author Gayle SwiftWisdom Tales PressLee& Low BooksThe Pack-n-Go GirlsLive Oak MediaAuthor Charlotte RiggleChronicle Books and Pomelo Books

 Author Sponsor include: Karen Leggett AbourayaVeronica AppletonSusan Bernardo, Kathleen BurkinshawMaria DismondyD.G. DriverGeoff Griffin Savannah HendricksStephen HodgesCarmen Bernier-Grand,Vahid ImaniGwen Jackson,  Hena, Kahn, David Kelly, Mariana LlanosNatasha Moulton-LevyTeddy O’MalleyStacy McAnulty,  Cerece MurphyMiranda PaulAnnette PimentelGreg RansomSandra Richards, Elsa TakaokaGraciela Tiscareño-Sato,  Sarah StevensonMonica Mathis-Stowe SmartChoiceNationAndrea Y. Wang

 We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive Co-Host Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also work tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our Co-Hosts HERE.


Chapter 2017 {Page 25}

**not a happy post**

So much has happened in the past few days (not to my immediate family at this moment) but to the country and really, the world. I don’t know what to say about any of it, because no matter what, it will piss someone off.

I guess the only thing I do want to say is: Lauren’s life, health, education and future are going to be directly affected, and soon. Lauren, and millions of others with special needs/disabilities. They (and their families) have to fight so hard, every single day to prove they belong in the world – that they are human beings with feelings and value. They have to prove they deserve rights, just like everyone else.

Beth Hardinger Blog

It’s really all I think about these days. I don’t sleep much anymore. How can I? When your child is threatened, how do you concentrate on anything else?

And for people who tell me not to worry about the future – back off. I’m doing the best I can with what I’m given. I have to worry about Lauren’s future – people with disabilities, their futures require planning. You start planning early. You have no choice. I can’t just hope Lauren will find her way when she moves on to middle school in a year and a half, and the teachers will treat her with respect and follow her IEP.

You may not be directly affected by the changes in the country, but millions of others are. And we’re terrified. We feel helpless, especially those of us without a supportive community.

Maybe tomorrow will look brighter. But I think those days are gone.

Chapter 2017 {Page 23}

I spent an hour or so at Starbucks today, trying to write. It was a huge fail, again. I love the idea of coffee shops, but it’s just not working out. Maybe it’s just THAT coffee shop. I don’t know.

Hannah had a donut for breakfast today, and then a bowl of cereal. Her current favorite is Cinnamon Frosted Flakes. She’s been asking to go to ‘The Kitchen’ (library) for awhile, so we are planning on going tomorrow morning. She hates story time (and just being around other kids in general) but we go, and we try. That’s all I can ask of her at age 3.

Beth Hardinger Blog

It’s National Reading Day, so the kids read all of their library books to each other. Even Lauren read some of a Curious George book. Avery read us all Orion and the Dark, which was a big hit (and a book that we will be purchasing for our home library!)

Beth hardinger Blog

(forgive the poorly-colored photos. wordpress doesn’t like decent-looking pictures.)

Chapter 2017 {Page 19}

I spent a few hours at Starbucks this morning, trying to get some writing done. Turns out, it’s more chaotic and noisy there than it is at my house. I guess I’m not meant to be one of those cool writers who sit at coffee shops and churn out hundreds of words an hour. I only got 306 words in today, but I set up a new site (B A Harding) and scrolled Pinterest for things to fill it with (like what do authors blog about, other than the books they are writing?)

We tried to go sledding today, since it was 43*, but the snow was too sticky. So the kids decided to have a snowball fight on the playground.

Beth Hardinger Blog

The kids watched another episode of Just Add Magic and had some popcorn, since it’s National Popcorn Day. Then Tim brought home some ice cream, so they each had to have a bowl of that. Bedtime was a little bit later than usual, but eh. Life is short.

Now it’s only 9pm and I’m already falling asleep at the keyboard. Tomorrow is a new day – a dark day – but we shall survive.

Chapter 2017 {Page 18}

Hannah always come in at 6:40 and says, “It’s morning! I slept in my own bed!” It’s a good thing we have to get up at 6:45, otherwise I would make her go back to bed.

Hannah and I did four loads of laundry today. Why they have so many clothes, I don’t know. I try to put some away, but then it doesn’t seem like they have enough. I can ‘t wait for summer, when they can just wear shorts and t-shirts all the time. And no socks. Ugh. Socks.

We went sledding after school today with my sister’s kids. They all had fun and no one got hurt, surprisingly, since the crashed into each other quite often.

Beth Hardinger Blog

We had to wander around the store tonight, wasting time, so we found some clearance snow pants for Lauren (with the straps, so they will stay on) and some clear storage bins, also on clearance. Since it’s supposed to be rainy and icky this weekend, I plan on having the kids sort out all of their toys into bins – Barbies, Littlest Pet Shop/Ponies, Doc and Elsa stuff. I also bought a stuffed animal holder a few weeks ago that I never put up. After all the stuff they got for Christmas, it’s just so overwhelming they don’t even know what to play with.

I’m watching Taboo on FX right now. The first episode. I’ve heard good things about it, and I like Tom Hardy in most things, but I’m not sure about this one. It seems way better than The Boring Executioner though.

I didn’t get any writing done tonight, after my 1500-word day yesterday. Oh, well. It’s not like I have an editor or publisher to answer to, although sometimes I wish I did. Having a real deadline might make me take it seriously most days.

We only have one more nice day before the rain and snow start, so we plan on picking both kids up from school again tomorrow (Lauren usually rides the bus) to go sledding one more time. Judging by the 15-day forecast, it looks like we may be on the upswing for temps though, so that makes me happy. I’m already tired of winter. I was sick of it way back on Nov 18, when we got 12″ of snow two days after having temps in the 70s.

I can barely keep my eyes open, so I’m headed to bed. Night!

(I really need to get my s*** together with Project Life. I’m already two weeks behind…)