Judge if you must; I look too damn good to care.

My sixth-grade class photo, age 11, 1988. I already longed for a plumper pout by this point. Photo from the author’s personal collection.

Thin lips.

I’ve been aware of the fact that I have ‘thin lips’ since the puberty storm descended her too-early gray cloud upon my head back in third grade.

Yes, at eight freakin’ years old I started going through the first set of ‘hormonal changes’ a gal will experience in her life. Due to this, I had to quit gymnastics that year because my mom wanted me to wear a [very visible] bra under my [skin-tight] leotard.

No thank you.

Plus, along with my ‘thin lips,’ I learned that…


A 21st-century picture book that both parents and young children can relate to as well as enjoy!

The book’s cover. Photo by Jill Valentino.

You’ve Probably Seen The Headlines…

…on Toddlers and Touchscreens:

“Tablets and Smartphones May Affect Social and Emotional Development, Scientists Speculate” (February 1, 2015)

“Smartphone, Tablet Overuse Among Toddlers May Stunt Development” (February 3, 2015)

…on Parenting and Phones:

“Cell Phone Distracted Parenting Can Have Long-Term Consequences: Study” (January 6, 2016)

“Dear Mom On The iPhone: Let Me Tell You What You Don’t See
(February 15, 2013)
Sidenote: Hey lady, judgmental much?

Below, the epic rebuttal to the uber-sanctimonious blog post above:
“Dear Mom On The iPhone: You’re Doing Fine” (August 11, 2014)


From initial diagnosis to discovering treatments that work, Moms in the know share their stories.

Photo by Soraya Irving on Unsplash

Sheldon Cooper in The Big Bang Theory. Adrian Monk of Monk. The Odd Couple’s Felix Unger. For many folks, with the mention of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), these well-known, quirky fictional characters come to mind.

However, for those afflicted and their families, OCD is anything but quirky. In reality, when left untreated, OCD can be debilitating.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Defined


Maya Thiagarajan offers a balanced view of Eastern and Western parenting and educational practices in her informative, well-written guide.

Have You Ever Wondered…


A memorable family-friendly vacation destination chock-full of learning, adventure, and fun!

My family’s Mystic Aquarium group photo, taken upon our arrival. Photo by Mystic Aquarium Staff and purchased/owned by Jill Valentino, 2016.

EarlyBirds Get To See More Worms (Or, In This Case, Marine Life)


Are you there, middle age? It’s me, Jill.

Originally published here on October 8, 2016.

Photo by Nick Stephenson on Unsplash

My Mother Was Right


Haters: Prepare to be surprised!

As an Eagles fan, I’ve received my fair share of smarmy comments about my favorite band, including:

  • Don Henley and the late Glenn Frey were jerks with huge egos. Yes, I saw the History of the Eagles documentary, too. However, those accusations don’t have squat to do with their music. Plus, aren’t musicians in general known to be jerks? Kanye West, anyone?
  • Only one of the Eagles is actually from California! That would be Timothy B. Schmit, who joined the Eagles in late 1977. But really, So? The Eagles embraced the California sound of the seventies at a time when…


I am forever grateful for the privilege of her education.

Photo by Mārtiņš Zemlickis on Unsplash

Throughout my entire second (full-term) pregnancy, physically, I was an absolute wreck. Though my mental state wasn’t exactly zen-like due to pregnancy complications, during periods of healthy gestation, I was the poster mom-to-be of confidence. I mean, I had already raised a daughter, quite successfully for the past eight years! Now, another sweet, wonderful little girl for my husband and I to raise was about to enter this world?

Easy-peasy. I so got this.

I was older at age 36 than I was when I birthed my first child at 28. Definitely wiser, too (so I believed). …

Jill Valentino

Mom, Wife, Crazy Life. Writer of Words, Educator of Children. Classic Rock Lover, Introvert. Topics: Parenting, Education, Music, Poetry, Books, & Creativity.

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