Liz Johnson

Liz is mom to second grader Jonah, preschooler Gwendolyn, and toddler Theo. She and Troy married and bought a Beaverdale home in 2010. A teacher on maternal hiatus, Liz prefers reading to housekeeping and uses West Wing reruns to settle her mind. She believes any problem can be solved with fiction but loves to explore her reality in Des Moines.
arguing parents

The Art of Arguing as Parents

My husband and I recently celebrated nine years of marriage. Our anniversary is always a good time to reflect on the many ways our marriage has evolved. This is especially true in the past...
i said so

“Because I Said So” and Other Reasons Why

Somewhere in my parenting journey, I came across the idea that when using the word “No” with children, no matter what age, I should always follow it with my reasons why. This would turn...
solo parenting

Solo Parenting: When Dad Travels

Solo parenting is not for the faint of heart. The first time I was home alone with our three children - then aged two months, two, and five - for three days this winter,...
influenza flu

Dear Influenza

Dear Influenza, We need to talk. This wasn’t supposed to be your year. You visited us last year when the headlines ran rampant with news of your devastation. We were properly aware of you, expected...
role models, parenting

Show, Don’t Tell: The Importance of Imperfect Modeling

I devoured parenting books, blogs, and websites when our first-born came home. Once I “mastered” baby life, I took a break from the books. Now that we’ve had our third child, I’ve returned to...
postpartum communication

Postpartum Communication: How to Better Understand a New Mom

The immediate weeks following baby’s birth are beautiful, life-altering, and exhausting. After my third wonderfully healthy baby was born, there were fewer surprises but no less work, especially with his two older siblings in...
motherhood fantasy life

Required for Motherhood: A Rich Fantasy Life

I lead a rich fantasy life.   Mom Life requires it. When the day seems an endless cycle of clean-up, kitchen prep, and bathroom misadventures, I need to be able to check out. And the...
pregnancy myth marathon

Pregnancy Myth Busted: It’s Not Like Running a Marathon, It’s Harder

It’s marathon time in Des Moines and many motivated individuals are getting ready for the main event, a 26.2-mile course featuring some of the city’s finest fall scenery. A year ago, I was one...
mom summer fails

My Favorite Summer Fails

Labor Day is upon us. Summer, that magical time of freedom and possibility, is over. And somehow, yet again, the massive to-do list I developed before Memorial Day is frighteningly incomplete. Rather than dwell...
social media privacy

Privacy, Please: Why I Don’t Do Social Media

Now that summer is here, social media is teeming with images of happy kids exploring their favorite season, parents enjoying and lamenting the challenge of family travel, and heat wave-inspired rants. There are pictures...