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  • Darcie Maranich, Special to Tucson Local Media
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If I told you that my husband and I just returned home from an amazing wine country vacation you probably wouldn’t be surprised. But if I told you that we brought our eight-year-old son, Jayce, along, that might catch you off guard, right? I know. Usually the terms ‘family-friendly’ and ‘win…

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My daughter wants her own cell phone. She’s in sixth grade. My husband and I have decided our kids aren’t getting phones until high school. Most of my daughter’s friends have phones and so she feels left out. I’m not budging from my position. Can I make her feel better about the situation?

  • Darcie Maranich Special to Tucson Local Media
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Q. I see more and more children with electronic devices everywhere - They use them to be entertained at restaurants, they use them in vehicles. When is it too much? Should we as parents do a better job at having our children behave without some form of electronic entertainment?

  • Darcie Maranich/Special to Tucson Local Media
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My grandparents—who winter in Yuma—drove up for Thanksgiving. They stayed three nights, during which time we ate, drank and were generally merry. The day after the big meal my grandma loaded the kids into her car and drove them to the nearby Dairy Queen for a blizzard. My husband, grandpa an…

  • Darcie Maranich
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Q. It’s the holiday season and my children are already talking about what they want and what they will get for Christmas. As a parent, what can I do to teach my children to appreciate what they receive, but also understand the importance of giving and helping others who are less fortunate?

  • Darcie Maranich
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I distinctly remember going for a walk with my husband one crisp morning after Christmas last year. There was much to be done. We had a Christmas tree to dismantle—ornaments to gently wrap and store. There was the aftermath of unwrapped gifts, the discarded wrapping paper to deal with and bo…

  • Darcie Maranich
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This is a popular time of year around these parts because it’s finally cool enough for us all to step outside for a bit and enjoy the ever-so-slightly crisper air. And while there are definitely increased events and festivals happening around town, the turn of the season also marks a great t…

  • Darcie Maranich
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My husband and I recently had the opportunity to sneak away for a weekend alone. It marks only the second time we’ve done so since our son was born eight years ago and so, as you might imagine, it was a treat of the rarest kind. Our destination made it all the better; we flew to Providencial…

  • Darcie Maranich, Special to Desert Times
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Recently, my young adult daughter texted me a picture of a tattoo so new that it was still red and puffy around the edges. The tattoo had been freshly applied to not just any ribcage, but my daughter’s ribcage. Forevermore the flying silhouettes of Peter Pan, Wendy, Michael and John with Tin…

  • Darcie Maranich/Special to Tucson Local Media
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Recently, my young adult daughter texted me a picture of a tattoo so new that it was still red and puffy around the edges. The tattoo had been freshly applied to not just any ribcage, but my daughter’s ribcage. Forevermore the flying silhouettes of Peter Pan, Wendy, Michael and John with Tin…

  • Darcie Maranich/Special to Tucson Local Media
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Before I lived in one, I always thought that neighborhoods with Homeowner’s Associations were better than those without. I imagined manicured lawns and pride of ownership and major curb appeal—all great things when it comes to resale value. I’m here to tell you that I was wrong. Now that I o…

  • Ron Scarbro/Special to Tucson Local Media
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Suing the president or, as we call it, “impeachment lite.” So why is the House suing the president? First, you understand the House is made up of lawyers and suing is what lawyers do. Secondly, it is because they know they cannot impeach him. The last time the Republicans tried to impeach a …

  • Darcie Maranich/Special to Tucson Local Media
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By now, most school-age children have returned to the classroom. I know that there exists an entire population of parents who rejoice when the back to school bell sounds for the first time. I, however, am not among them. For our family, the school year signifies a return to busy weeknights f…

  • Darcie Maranich/Special to Tucson Local Media
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I caught a snippet of The Today Show this morning. I gave up watching that show years ago but it did pop up on my screen this morning briefly as I was starting my workout DVD. The hosts (who I didn’t recognize) were discussing something they referred to as “skinny shaming”. From what I gathe…

  • Darcie Maranich Special to Desert Times
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Vacation season might be wrapping up as children everywhere prepare to head back to school soon.  The lucky ones among us, though, might be able to squeeze in one more quick trip.  For some, that means air travel.  Having completed my fair share of that already this summer, I wanted to share…

  • Darcie Maranich/Special to Tucson Local Media
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We started reading to my son when he was six weeks old. It sounds a little strange, I know, but I’d read about the benefits of reading to a baby and so I insisted that we do it. We started with simple board books that contained mostly colorful pictures of oversized objects—shoes, balls, anim…

  • Darcie Maranich, Special to Tucson Local Media
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At the risk of sounding like my grandfather, I have to say that I have genuine concerns about the next generation. I’m worried about the impact of constant connectivity on impressionable young minds.

  • Darcie Maranich/Special to Tucson Local Media
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A month ago, a tattered box arrived at my door. Tattered because it had traveled a great distance—all the way from Italy. It was a package I’ve been waiting a very long time for. That box contained seven copies of my first published novel. The only trouble, of course, being that the book is …

  • Darcie Maranich/Special to Tucson Local Media
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Have you seen the TV show, American Dream Builders? It’s an NBC program in which several designers are assigned to a team and they compete against one another to design a house that wins the votes of a neighborhood council. I’m not sure what the big prize at the end is and I didn’t bother to…

spotlight
  • Darcie Maranich/Special to Tucson Local Media
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This afternoon I’m getting on a plane with my daughter, Torri.  We’re flying to Florida, the Sunshine State, so you’d think the trip would be a happy one.  It is, in many ways.  But the fact that Torri’s ticket is one-way, and mine is round-trip, well, that complicates things.

  • Darcie Maranich, Special to Desert Times
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I have a daughter who says all the wrong things.  Just last week, for example, she tweeted a confession to her followers: “We are a family that likes to put holes in our walls.”  It’s an odd declaration, right?  One that makes you wonder just what the heck is going on behind our closed doors…

  • Darcie Maranich/Special To The Explorer
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A little neighbor girl rang the doorbell this evening. Our doorbell rarely rings and so when it did, we assumed it was either UPS or our son, having difficulty manipulating our stubborn front doorknob again. Rather, we opened the door to find the little neighbor girl standing there. She very…

  • Darcie Maranich/Special to The Explorer
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There was a lawsuit making the national headlines through much of March. In involved a teenager from New Jersey who was suing her parents for—among other things—access to a college fund. The litigious young lady was one Rachel Canning, 18. As it turns out, young Miss Canning eventually dropp…

  • Darcie Maranich/special to The Explorer
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I’ve come to the conclusion that parenting itself is not hard. Within the sturdy walls of home, I am more than capable of raising my children to be well-balanced, God-fearing, productive adults. The trouble comes in that we don’t exist solely within the bounds of home. In my experience, some…

  • Darcie Maranich/Special to The Explorer
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My daughter is going to prom this weekend. She has everything she needs: a dress, heels and a hair appointment. She is going with is a young man I very much approve of; the two of them have been dating for over six months (which is an eternity in high school time). The other day she mentione…

  • Darcie Maranich/Special to The Explorer
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I have a 7-year-old son. My 7-year-old son seems to have an endless supply of energy bound up somewhere in his core. A couple of years ago, my husband and I learned that if we didn’t want to spend significant time dodging Nerf darts and maneuvering through jury-rigged obstacle courses in the…

  • Darcie Maranich/Special to The Explorer
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As a stay-home mom, my job title is sort of like an umbrella that covers several duties. I’m a chauffeur, a chef, a tutor and a nurse. An accountant. A personal shopper. Secretary. When you throw together a few duties from each of those titles, you begin to get an accurate representation of …

  • Darcie Maranich/Special to The Explorer
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My 19-year-old daughter crashed her car two weeks ago. And when I say that she “crashed her car,” I do not mean to say that she got into a fender bender. I mean to say that she crashed her car to the extent that airbags deployed on impact. I mean to say that her windshield shattered and the …

  • Darcie Maranich/Special to The Explorer
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I don’t know about yours, but my Facebook news feed was abuzz with SB1062 (or, what has been dubbed Arizona’s legalized prejudice bill) news this week. Locals and out-of-state friends alike weighed in with opinions on the highly controversial bill, some with insightful commentary and others …

  • Darcie Maranich/Special to The Explorer
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How about this weather we’re having lately? Not too shabby, right? It’s only February and already the tiniest green buds are appearing on my trees in the backyard. And I’ve had to dig out shorts for my kids to wear to school. These brag-worthy temperatures have even enabled us to shut down b…

editor's pick spotlight
  • Darcie Maranich/Special to The Explorer
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I had a dental cleaning appointment this morning. I considered calling in sick and putting the torture off until next week but in the end I worked up my courage and went in as scheduled. I have dental anxiety stemming from several bad root canal experiences. Every time I find myself lying su…

  • Darcie Maranich/Special to The Explorer
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I recently took part in an experiment in which I committed to eat only seven foods for seven days. There were no rules as to which seven foods I could choose from, nor were there any armed guards in my kitchen or alarms on my refrigerator to keep me honest. I could have cried uncle at any ti…