And the Winner is…

By Leslie Lindsay

Thanks to all of you who shared Lisa Unger’s interview via social media. By doing so, it entered you in the raffle for a copy of her newest release, IN THE BLOOD.

Congrats to MEGHAN S. of Chicagoland!!
Product Details

Stay tuned for more author interviews and book give-a-ways! We’ll have Elizabeth Heiter, debut author of HUNTED in mid-March.

[book images retrieved from Amazon on 2.24.14, winner image from on 2.24.14]

And the Winner is…

By Leslie Lindsay

Thanks all for your interest in RECONSTRUCTING AMELIA author interview and give-a-way!  I am pleased to announce a WINNER!

Nila S…your name was selected to received a FREE copy of the book. This now concludes the contest. Thanks for all you for being loyal blog readers and for sharing the post!

Good books rock!

[image source: retrieved 1.27.14]

The Teacher is Talking: 1-2-3 Magic with Dr. Thomas Phelan

By Leslie Lindsay

When I was a young R.N. working at the Mayo Clinic in Child/Adolescent Psychiatry, we used a program called 1-2-3 Magic by Thomas Phelan.  I had no idea what it was all about at the time…but I quickly learned –and loved it.  In fact, it’s America’s #1 child discipline program!  Years later, as a mom of an almost 8-year old and 6-year old, it definitely comes in handy.  (image source:


Here’s how it works:

  • Your child is engaging in an activity or behavior you don’t like or want to redirect (change).  For example, “Kate, you need to make your bed.”  (Grumble, grumble).  As a parent/caregiver you say, “That’s one!”  and pause.  (1)
  • If your child doesn’t make any progress towards the goal you initiated (they are still grumbling, stomping feet, etc.) you say, “That’s two!”  And pause.*  You are watching to see your child make some movement towards the goal/direction given.  (2)
  • Hopefully she is moving her buns in the right direction (setting her book down and moving towards her bed, or whatever).  If you have to say, “That’s three!” then a consequence results.  That consequence should be something you have predetermined and your child expects, a five-minute time-out, for example is what we typically do around our house.  (3)
  • MAGIC!!  The task is done, your child avoided danger, or the behavior/attitude was redirected.  See how easy that was? 

[* the pause is actually a very important part of the program.  It allows you and your child to calm down and consider consequences].

How is this different than just saying, “Go to your room?!”  Well, your child is given an expectation (I want you to stop hitting your brother).  They have a minute to stop the action and pull themselves together before being hauled off to their bedroom.  Your child understands that you mean business and they are ultimately in control, (“hey, if I stop hitting my brother, I won’t have to go to my room.”)  If you ultimately make the descision without involving your child, they really learn nothing.  1-2-3Magic-Book_T.gif

How is 1-2-3 Magic different than just counting to 3?  Most parents count too quickly.  Know how hard it is for you to stop doing something you’re really engaged in?  Say you are reading a really great book?  Watching a good movie/television show?  Cooking?  How often to you say, “Oh, just a minute?”  Can you stop something immediately?  Probably not. So, you give your child a warning…”hey, a consequence is coming if you don’t pull it together.”  You’d appreciate the same thing, right?

That’s it!  Class Dismissed : ) 

Apraxia Monday: Being Thankful

By Leslie Lindsay

As I sit back and think of all of the things I am thankful this past year, I am particularly thankful for a 2nd grader who has come so far on her apraxia journey. 

It was nearly five years ago this month that we learned Kate had severe childhood apraxia of speech (CAS).  I was in complete and utter denial.  I didn’t know what apraxia was, let alone what it meant for my daughter–and the countless other children who also have the diagnosis. 

But I do now. 

It was 2007.  We were visiting with family in St. Louis for the holiday.  At the annual turkey dinner, I was chatting with one of my cousin-in-laws when she asked how the girls were doing.  She nodded, jutting her chin in their direction.  A mass of redheaded (2nd) cousins wrestled and played, appropriately so in the so-called “conversation pit” of the family’s ranch home.  Only Kate wasn’t conversing.  She was, in fact smiling and laughing and grunting.  She had no words.  Or, at least very few of them.

I pinched my lips into a tight line.  Her question rang through my head, “How are the girls doing?”  It was a benign-enough question, but I felt the backs of my eyes prick with the familiar burn of tears.  “No, don’t cry,” I scolded myself. 

I mustered up a lame-o, “Fine.” 

My cousin-in-laws eyes softened, her shoulders narrowed, “How’s her speech?” 

It was as if she knew.  My stomach flipped.  “We were just diagnosed with apraxia.” 

She nodded knowingly.  “All four of my boys have been in speech at some point.  We just celebrated the last one’s dismissal.  Ten years of speech therapy.  I even got a certificate for all of the time I carted them there.” 

Wait.  What was that?  All four of her children had been in speech therapy at some point in their childhood?  How could that be?! 

I didn’t know what to make of that.  I asked her point-blank, “Did any of them have apraxia?” 

She shook her head.  I felt anxious.  “But there’s a lot that can be done.  We loved our speech pathologist.  Did great things with the boys.” 

Meanwhile, the giggles and grunts from the conversation pit ensued.  Their waves of red bobbed up and down.  Kate approached me and signed “more” for Doritos.   She was having the time of her life and it really didn’t matter if she could talk with her 2nd cousins, or not.  They got it.  They didn’t need words.  Instead they were happy playing tag and tap dancing on the wood floor. 

Fast-forward five years.  We have had amazing speech pathologists (SLPs), occupational therapists (OTs), caring preschool and kindergarten teachers, and now a little girl who can communicate quite well. 

And a book.  For you, for me, for our children. 

You see, as a mother-turned-author, I knew in my heart that my children were a gift.  They may not be completely perfect but that doesn’t matter.  They gave me  ability to love, to understand, to question, to learn. 

And that, it what I am thankful for this Thanksgiving. 

The Teacher is Talking: The Whole Brain Child

By Leslie Lindsay

The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson (image retrieved from on 8.7.12)

I don’t know about you but I have about had it with summer vacation.  It’s not the heat or the long days that is driving me wild, it’s the constant fussing and bickering that comes from the tiny redheaded girls who call me mom.  So when I learned about this new parenting book, THE WHOLE BRAIN CHILD by Daniel J. Siegel, MD and Tina Payne Bryson, PhD I figured it couldn’t hurt. 

The book promises you will be able “survive everyday parenting struggles and help your family thrive.”  I nodded in appreciation and flipped open the binding, inhaling that new-book smell I adore.  The audience: parents of children birth to 12 years.  It covers 12 basic principles a parent or devoted caregiver can give a child to help them become better at managing their own emotions, thus beoming a more well-balanced child.  Again, I nod in appreciation. 

Left Brain Right Brain Illustration


(this s NOT the diagram from the book.  Rather I found this on my own at

The first section of the book is really focused on brain science.  Don’t get me wrong:  it’s not boring or hard to follow.  In fact, I really like the whimsical illustrations the artist uses to depict the brain:

The LEFT side (hemisphere) is loaded with graphics like crossword puzzles, math facts, and pondering children (“hummm…wonder if they can prove that?”).  More on the left side:  loves order and lists, it is logical, literal, linguistic, and linear (puts things in order or sequence). 

While the RIGHT side is a little more “floaty” with dancers, artists, and thinkers (holistic and nonverbal, facial expressions, eye contact, tone of voice, posture, and gestures, big picture specialists, emotions, memories, and the feeling of an experience) Sure, it’s a bit of a stereotype, but hey–that’s what it’s really all about. 

So, here’s the idea:  toddlers often use their right brain most (reacting to emotions–meltdown, anyone?) and later the left brain kicks in (no, I won’t share this with you.  It’s mine!  Or, the endless questioning of “Why?”).  By the time your kiddo is successfully doing both, you can be rest-assured that he does indeed have two hemispheres.  The problem is, they aren’t always working in tandem.  That’s where you, dependable caregiver comes in. 

Here’s what I am thinking:  I will highlight the 12 strategives in this book over the next two Tuesdays.  Next week, we’ll cover 1-6 and the following week, 6-12.  There will be a lot I won’t be able to share with you because this book is chock-full of great graphics, charts, etc.  So, if you think you’re going to like this book–and really, what’s not to like–I suggest you get your own copy at your local library or bookstore.  I got mine at Amazon. 

And in the meantime, I will see if it works at decreasing the summer bickerfest at my house…

For now, class dismissed! 

For more information on the Whole Brain Child, see their website at:


In My Brain Today: Gettin’ Green Book Give-a-Way

By Leslie Lindsay

***Be sure to comment on this post to be considered for a FREE copy of the book!***

Growing up, I am sad to say that there wasn’t much in terms of living a greener life.  Sure, there were the “Don’t be a litterbug” signs plastered about, but the big movement of really transforming your life to a greener one really didn’t happen until much later. 

So, when I learned of this new book by Kim Cecchi, I was intrigued.  Getting Green Now:  Tips for a Greener Life Quick hit the shelves in February 2012.  Written by mom, environmentalist, and yoga instructor, you will find plenty of great–and quick–tips in this handy little book.  No worries about drastically changing the way you live, this book is peppered with really snappy little changes that you can adapt in a heartbeat. Product Details(image retrieved from Amazon on 8.2.12)

The book is simple to use.  It’s layed out in sections of your life from “green home” to “beauty” (also includes office, enviroment, recycling, green living).  Just flip to a section where you think you can do better and soak up the tips. 

Here are a few of them: 

  • Tip:  Buy milk in bottles if possible. Why?  Plastic and glass containers can be reused and recycled, waxy cartons cannot. 
  • Tip:  Clean the lint filter in your dryer after every use.  Why?  It conserves energy, saves cash, and reduces fire hazard.  Keeping it clean decreases energy use by 30%. 
  • Tip:  Get rid of ant traps.  Why?  They are poison.  Try hitting affected areas with vinegar (Kim’s favorite), lemon juice, baking soda, cinnamon, or coffee grounds. 

****I really could go on and on about all of the great tips in Getting Green Now, but I will save that for one lucky blog reader.  That’s right:  Kim has graciously agreed to give away a copy of her book.  All you have to do is respond with a quick comment on one thing you do in your life to be a little greener. ***** Good Luck!!

(added 8.3.12 at 6:30pm) Okay…contest is over…and the WINNER IS…Wachusette Region Recycles!  (your name was placed in a bucket and randomally drawn by my basset hound!).  Thanks for sharing your ideas for getting green, Tara A. and Amanda B.! 

(only comments that appear on the blog will be considered for the give-a-way.  You have till Friday, 8.3.12 at 5pm to submit your comment.  Book will be mailed to you at no charge.) 

Here’s mine:   I take home all of my paper and plastic cups that I receive my beverages in, including the coffee sleeve (sometimes I request NO coffee sleeve) and recycle them with my home recycling instead of tossing into the trashcan at the restaurant.  

You may appreciate this story from Scientific American,

And that is what is in my brain today, Thursday August 2nd 2012.