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“Homeowner”, “renter” or “squatter” – whatever the label, these occupants take the Offbeat wherever they go.

My child sexually was harassed on the school bus & the reality set in

My child was sexually harassed on the school bus & the reality set in

Yesterday should have been a normal day. It started off that way. But instead it became a first for my eldest daughter. My daughter asked a boy to stop using profanities, and instead, he used them more and more, especially directed at her. And then he threatened her, repeatedly.

When the bus did stop, she ran as fast as she could and into my arms. Her whole body shook with fear and anger. That was the day our daughter became the victim of sexually violent language. She is ten years old. The boy was twelve. She was riding the school bus home from fifth grade.

This one-year anniversary shoot proves that it's never too late to snag stunning photos

This one-year anniversary shoot proves that it’s always worth snagging stunning photos

Whether you hated your wedding photos, didn’t have a wedding, want to celebrate a milestone, or just want to capture how awesome you’ve been looking lately, a couple’s photo shoot is always a good idea. You don’t need to have had a child or gotten engaged or married to snag yourself from frameable shots. This is exactly what Ashley and Nick did at their plaid-covered one-year anniversary shoot.

How do I survive current politics at family gatherings?

How do I survive current politics at family gatherings?

I’m headed to my partner’s family’s house for Thanksgiving. My partner and I do not agree with his family on political issues and I have a feeling that there will be discussions about the Midterms and other issues. I’m not sure how to handle them, if I don’t just hide away in the bathroom and ride it out. Any advice for surviving the holidays with a family on the other side of the big political divide?

Could-be-babies: my missed miscarriage of twins

Could-be-babies: my missed miscarriage of twins

I’ve been up all night deleting my lists of baby names, deleting my secret baby registry, unfollowing the Twins groups I joined on Facebook, throwing away the books and the ultrasound photos that I’d been proudly displaying on our fridge. I’ve been up all night unbecoming a mother. I had a glass of wine and sushi and it wasn’t as good as I needed it to be. Women don’t talk about miscarriage, even though it happens to a lot of us. A LOT.

Prayer for the grandmother I long ago scorned

I read today that all of a woman’s eggs develop in her body when she herself is still in utero. At four months, the female fetus develops its ovaries and all of the eggs that lie therein. Which means that the seeds for every single one of us, every single human being, are planted in our mothers while our mothers are still within our grandmothers. In a sense, we were all born of our grandmothers.

When kids books go bad: how Mr. Men and Little Miss teach kids to hate themselves

When kids books go bad: how Mr. Men and Little Miss teach kids to hate themselves

There are a lot of books that I enjoyed as a child that dismay me as an adult. I try not to be a loud feminist killjoy too often, but occasionally I come out of hiding from my lair, like when I read this outdated series of books that somehow ended up in my house and has been taken up by my son with great enthusiasm…

Individuation: stumbling toward emotional self-reliance

Maybe the most obvious way to talk about individuation is to say that, in the context of my marriage, if there was a bad feeling, I would look to my spouse to help me with it. Over the years, this mean that basically I held him at least partially responsible for my sense of well-being. Then, suddenly, my sense of well-being was very much my responsibility alone… and ultimately, it always was.

Help! What's the best way to store dirty cloth diapers?

Help! What’s the best way to store dirty cloth diapers?

We are 32 weeks pregnant with our first child and planning on cloth diapering. I’m looking for a little bit of guidance on how to store the dirty diapers until wash time. I looked on the internet but still felt confused after reading about dry pails v. wet pails while other people recommend getting a bidet sprayer to attach to the toilet. I would love to hear what other people do in the time between a diaper getting dirty and laundry time.