Lucky Tomaszek

Recent Articles

25 years of Pride: A look back and a look ahead
25 years of Pride

A look back and a look ahead

This weekend, Milwaukee will revel in its 25th annual PrideFest celebration. TCD takes a look at PrideFest's history, and what's in store for this year.

Brandi Carlile’s intimate performance lights up Turner Hall

Brandi Carlile’s intimate performance lights up Turner Hall

Tuesday night, Brandi Carlile lifted up the audience with an intimate solo acoustic performance at sold out Turner Hall, full of stories and sing-alongs.

Preview: Milwaukee LGBT Film and Video Festival
Preview

Milwaukee LGBT Film and Video Festival

Critically acclaimed film "Weekend" kicks off four days and sixteen films at the 24th annual MIlwaukee LGBT Film and Video Festival at UWM.

UPDATE: Toshi Reagon
UPDATE

Toshi Reagon

It was the neo-soul singer's first trip to Milwaukee, but she swears she'll be back.

ONE WORLD: NEW Global Issues column debuts this month!
ONE WORLD

NEW Global Issues column debuts this month!

One World, by former Slightly Crunchy Parent columnist Lucky Tomaszek, takes a look at global issues through a local lens and focuses on living in the world with as little damanging impact as possible and facing the challenges our families and communities face environmentally, economically and ethically. Check it out this month, let us know […]

I’ll be seeing you …

I’ll be seeing you …

In the beginning When I started writing the Slightly Crunchy Parent in March 2003, I was full of things to say about the choices I had made as a parent. I spent hours and hours researching all of the decisions I made for our family. It is such a large responsibility – I don’t think […]

The Fifth Grade Blues

The Fifth Grade Blues

By Lucky Tomaszek Emma came to me last week with yet another form to sign. This one was a re-do slip from her teacher. She held up her spelling practice sheet for me to see. “I spelled ‘radiant’ wrong on my practice sheet. Forgot the ‘t’ on the end. So, I wrote it out ten […]

Let’s talk about (child) sex (uality)

Let’s talk about (child) sex (uality)

My oldest daughter turned 13 this summer, and she looks very much like she’ll look until she enters college. She may get a little taller and her figure a little fuller, but her features are all there now. Not one trace of baby roundness touches her anywhere. Lena is a beautiful young woman who turns […]

Good for baby, good for the Earth

Good for baby, good for the Earth

Everyone who knows me is well aware of my fervent and ongoing lactivism. I have written about the supremacy of breastfeeding every August for the last five years. It might seem like I would eventually run out of fresh material, but it simply can’t happen. The subject is so broad, so deep and so full […]

Stars and Stripes Forever

Stars and Stripes Forever

My kids are growing up, and as they get older, I believe it’s increasingly important to educate them about their duties as citizens. I worry about the ignorance of Americans of their own history, from the framing of the Constitution to why we go to war with other nations. In anticipation of Independence Day, I […]

Dancing Queens

Dancing Queens

The Tuckers and the Tomaszeks have decided to learn the Cotton Eyed Joe before July 4th. We started today, dancing and laughing our tails off in the living room. To be clear, we are not good dancers. We might be weaker dancers than we are singers – and for anyone who has heard the tribe […]

Every day’s a holiday

Every day’s a holiday

One Friday in the middle of May, my children woke themselves early and were in the kitchen, dressed and ready for breakfast, by 6:30. As I poured my coffee, delighted that we were more than a half an hour ahead of schedule, my youngest ran at me. He grabbed me tight around the middle and […]

Essure: Be careful what you wish for
Essure

Be careful what you wish for

Essure claims to provide non-surgical sterilization with no cutting. But there are risks with Essure's rewards, so be sure you do your homework first.

Chomp!

Chomp!

A friend of mine is a stay-at-home mom to a four-year-old and a two-year-old. Her days are full of the minute-to-minute care of little ones, the way mine was just a few years ago. Most mornings, we enjoy 15 minutes on the phone while I drive to school and she makes breakfast for the kids. […]

Geek Squad

Geek Squad

I wonder sometimes how my kids play off our family’s inherent nerdiness at school. After a full evening of fondue and folding origami, do they tell their friends what we did and how hard we laughed? Or do they stay quiet as their peers regale everyone with tales of playing the latest Wii game or […]

The fine art of persuasion

The fine art of persuasion

In fourth grade, the children at Roosevelt Elementary are taught how to write a persuasive letter. My nine-year-old, Emma, has been faithfully practicing this skill. Here’s a case in point. Recently, our cat Lucius decided to exhibit his displeasure with the humans by peeing on the floor next to where I was standing. It was […]

Baby girl

Baby girl

She is 12 years old. She is beautiful and funny. Instead of saying, Mom, you’re embarrassing me she laughs and says, “Mom – you’re scaring me.” It’s her joke. She is 12 years old. She is in love with a boy from school. And one from the theater. She ponders herself in the mirror, practicing […]

Family Dinner

Family Dinner

Fried chicken Collard greens Cheese grits Candied sweet potatoes Three generations Father >> Daughter > Fiance, 9 yr old son, 15 yr old soontobe daughter, 14 yr old soontobe daughter Daughter > Partner, 12 yr old daughter, 9 yr old daughter, 7 yr old son > Kids’ dad Daughter > 5 yr old son Two […]

Slightly Crunchy Parent: Stretch your Brain
Slightly Crunchy Parent

Stretch your Brain

A few days ago, I opened my email to find the following message from a friend: ANTI-GOD MOVIE WARNING “I almost had this book in my hand for a Christmas present for my son, but found something else. I’m glad ... I just got this message today."

Girlyman: Growing up, moving out and keepin’ on.
Girlyman

Growing up, moving out and keepin’ on.

“We love coming to Milwaukee because we just always get such, there’s so much excitement; so much is coming back to us from the crowd. It just feels really good to be here.” That’s how Ty Greenstein, one third of the increasingly well-known band Girlyman, ends our interview. I’ve been sitting around Shank Hall with […]

Slightly Crunchy Parent:  Tone deaf and loving it!
Slightly Crunchy Parent

Tone deaf and loving it!

When I was just a little girl, my grandmother used to say to me, “Lucky, honey, you can’t carry a tune in a bucket.” She said it often, because in spite of the fact that I didn’t sing well, I did sing a lot. And I sang as loud as I could. I have always […]

Slightly Crunchy Parent:  Gardasil – Hope or Hype?
Slightly Crunchy Parent

Gardasil – Hope or Hype?

As my oldest daughter, Lena, moves out of childhood and into adolescence, her dad and I are plagued with so many new dilemmas. She, like all 12-year-olds, would like more privileges and wants us to trust her to make more of her own decisions. These things slip in and out of our daily conversation pretty […]

Slightly Crunchy Parent:  Banging the drum, softly
Slightly Crunchy Parent

Banging the drum, softly

It’s hard to believe that we’re coming up on the end of yet another summer that seemed to go by too fast. But whether we believe it or not, it’s true. August is upon us and for me, that always means two major events. The month begins with World Breastfeeding Week and ends with my […]

Slightly Crunchy Parent:  R-E-S-P-E-C-T
Slightly Crunchy Parent

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

There is an old joke that starts, “A man comes home from work and found his three children outside, still in their pajamas, playing in the mud, with empty food boxes and wrappers strewn all around the front yard.” It goes on to elaborate on the mess inside the house as well: dishes in the […]

Get ‘em while they’re interesting

Get ‘em while they’re interesting

The 2008 presidential election marks the first time in 80 years that there has been neither an incumbent presidential nor vice-presidential candidate. We at VITAL Source are celebrating Independence Day and the kick-off of the official campaign season with a collection of quotes from the Democratic and Republican candidates. We’ve spent days pouring over campaign […]

Anybody ever wonder why I’m skeptical about state mandated vaccines?

Anybody ever wonder why I’m skeptical about state mandated vaccines?

This HPV vaccine has scared me since before its official FDA approval last year. When several states introduced legislation to mandate its use in pre-teen populations, I was incensed as well as dubious. The first reports are now coming about how potentially dangerous this vaccine can be. Read on… http://www.judicial watch.org/ 6299.shtml Judicial Watch Uncovers […]

Slightly Crunchy Parent:  The road to hell by, by any other name
Slightly Crunchy Parent

The road to hell by, by any other name

It’s time for me to admit it – I am one of those moms. By that, I mean I make mistakes with my kids. And the mistakes I make are classics – the ones we all swore we would never make. When you’re pregnant with your first baby, you make a list of things you […]

Slightly Crunchy Parent:  Falling in love with Roberta
Slightly Crunchy Parent

Falling in love with Roberta

As I sit to write this, I am surrounded by half-full boxes and piles of things for Purple Heart. The Slightly Crunchy Parent has bought a new house, and we’ll be moving very soon. The house my partner and I found was a foreclosure and in desperate need of much work before being habitable and, […]

After the party – How to handle the pox

After the party – How to handle the pox

By Lucky Tomaszek In February, I shared with you all my friend Jesi’s successful quest to expose her two children to the chicken pox. The reactions I received from people were wildly varied, with some readers telling me about the chicken pox parties they had when their own children were young and others telling me […]

O.K. again

O.K. again

We are recovering. The first round of chicken pox has finally ended. It wasn’t really any longer than most cases of CP, but it was more severe than I’ve ever personally witnessed. My oldest daughter had more than 500 pox. For those wise-asses out there who want to know if I actually counted them all […]

Chicken pox party

Chicken pox party

By Lucky Tomaszek I called my friend Jesi one evening in early December to see if she wanted do a little Christmas shopping, but she told me she already had plans. “We’re headed out to Watertown for a chicken pox party; I won’t be home for a couple of hours.” That’s right, she said “chicken […]

Everything for everybody

Everything for everybody

By Vital Staff Let’s face it; this is the time of year when most peoples’ energy ebbs low while commitments proceed at their regularly-scheduled breakneck speed. There was that mental break from the day-to-day world over the holidays (often taking the form of surreal flashes of family, food and lots of driving), immediately followed by […]

My greatest teachers

My greatest teachers

By Lucky Tomaszek I am lying on the couch with one child spooned up against my belly and another lying on my side. We are covered with a blanket and the television is quietly playing in the background. I doze in and out while they watch a movie. Jeffrey, my youngest, whispers, “You’re the best […]

My mad dream for the holidays

My mad dream for the holidays

By Lucky Tomaszek It’s been years since I’ve looked forward to a holiday season this way. I think about it every day, and like a kid, I’m getting excited. Each time a new event gets added to my calendar, I am just a little happier about the next six weeks unfolding in front of my […]

Exhaling

Exhaling

When the movie “Waiting To Exhale” first came out, I had not yet had enough life experience to understand the title. That is no longer true. I have now had many times when my life was so full, so busy, or so stressful that I felt like I hadn’t had a long exhale in a […]

It’s a good one!

It’s a good one!

I’m grateful for this quiet, peaceful Saturday morning. My boy, who was sick last night, is feeling better. Both girls slept late and are in good moods. Soon we’ll start folding some origami and take the day easy. This is perfect. I’m the luckiest mama in the world.

Parent – teacher conferences

Parent – teacher conferences

Tonight, we attended our kids’ parent-teacher conferences. As a recovering homeschooling family, these events are always interesting. I know how my children are doing in school, because I still sit with them as they do their work. I know exactly where their strengths and weaknesses lie, and I know how to get past them. The […]

Another rockin’ night with the slightly crunchy mama

Another rockin’ night with the slightly crunchy mama

So, tonight the kids are on a short trip to Chicago with their dad, leaving me one peaceful night. I planned to take advantage of it. I wanted to soak in my tub, shave my legs, go to bed early, read for a few hours. I ‘ve been plotting it since we found out about […]

I thought we were done with this!

I thought we were done with this!

Here’s the tale of last night: There was one in the bed and the 11 year old said, “Mama, it’s been such a long day and I missed you. Can I sleep with you?” So the one rolled over and the 11 year old climbed in, snugged down, and fell fast asleep. G’night. There were […]

Name it?

Name it?

My editor called me this week about my new VITAL Source blog. She wanted to know two things. The first: “Are you going to have your first blog entry in on time?” I stammered. “Um. Define ‘on time.’” “Very funny. The new website goes live at midnight on Wednesday, November 1. On time would be […]

We sing in the car

We sing in the car

By Lucky Tomaszek We’re driving out to a rock climbing place for my daughter Lena’s 11th birthday. It’s July but it’s cool enough to have the windows down to the let breeze in. Lena says, “Will you play that one song, Mom?” I smile at her in the rear view mirror and scan through to […]

Having THE Talk

Having THE Talk

By Lucky Tomaszek You just never know when it’s going to happen. You can be standing in line at the grocery store with your child, or walking into the exam room at your doctor’s office. Perhaps you’re lucky and you’re at home with no one around to watch you blush and fumble as you realize […]

This moment

This moment

By Lucky Tomaszek When our babies are small, and so incredibly needy, it’s easy to say, “When she’s bigger, it’ll be easier.” And as our children get older, more independent and likely much mouthier, it’s easy to say, “I wish you were still small enough to fit into the crook of my arm. It was […]

My Holiday Gift to Myself:
My Holiday Gift to Myself

By Lucky Tomaszek When I mention I’m a writer, I find that lots of people have a novel brewing in the back of their heads. They’ve been picking at it for years, sometimes; waiting for the time, the talent or the wherewithal to sit down and commit it to paper. Some have well thought-out plot […]

Read To Me!

Read To Me!

By Lucky Tomaszek Since 1919, educators, librarians, booksellers and families have celebrated Children’s Book Week during the week before Thanksgiving. Founder Frederich Melcher believed “Book Week brings us together to talk about books and reading and … to put the cause of children’s reading squarely before the whole community and across the whole nation. For […]

Girls’ Night Out

Girls’ Night Out

By Lucky Tomaszek I think I’ve mentioned before that I love the Indigo Girls. L-o-v-e them. Can’t quite get enough, actually. As a result, their music plays in our house on an almost daily basis. I have all of their CDs, as well as a bunch of live stuff that I’ve downloaded (legally). I cook […]

Road Tripping with the Family

Road Tripping with the Family

By Lucky Tomaszek When I was little, long car rides inevitably led to boredom and carsickness. A few road trips gone very bad as a teenager (can you say engine fire?) sealed my already brewing dislike for automobile travel. But after moving the kids two states away from home, I was forced to reconsider my […]

Coral Slavin’s Labor of Love

Coral Slavin’s Labor of Love

By Lucky Tomaszek Coral Slavin lovingly rubs the laboring woman’s back and says, “Remember, when it’s this hard, it’s because it’s almost over. This is the hardest part.”  The woman’s contraction ends and her eyes close as she drifts into a doze that will last approximately 45 seconds before the next contraction comes. It’s 2 […]

The New and Improved Holiday Letter

The New and Improved Holiday Letter

By Lucky Tomaszek I remember opening Christmas cards as a teenager and being frustrated by the ever-growing number of holiday letters. You’ve probably received at least one yourself. They’re the form letters that run down the year in review on behalf of the sender. At that point in my life, I was only responsible for […]

Teaching Tolerance

Teaching Tolerance

By Lucky Tomaszek Children begin noticing differences in people at a very early age, just as they notice different colors of crayons, or a goat from a lamb at the petting zoo. Often they make “judgments” like “I like the red one better.” Sometimes they merely repeat something they have heard like “goats are so […]

FluMist

FluMist

By Lucky Tomaszek Many people are relieved to hear about the new FluMist vaccine. No one likes needles, and it seems the makers of FluMist are counting on that fact to convince consumers to buy. FluMist is the first influenza vaccine that is not a shot. It’s a nasal spray. One good dose up the […]

Living Without Santa

Living Without Santa

By Lucky Tomaszek One night in December of 1978, when I was 6 years old, I stayed up very late watching a toy drive on TV. As I gazed longingly at all the dolls and drums and toy trains piled up for needy children, the host announced the arrival of Santa Claus — he was […]

Halloween Costumes

Halloween Costumes

By Lucky Tomaszek I have always loved Halloween. As a girl, I remember that the costumes in our family were consistently fun and well thought-out. We lived in a small town, so the treats from Beggar’s Night were tasty and plentiful. In addition to timeless favorites like Bit O’ Honeys and mini candy bars, lots […]

The First Day of School

The First Day of School

By Lucky Tomaszek My middle child, Emma, starts kindergarten this month. Like all parents, I find it hard to believe that this baby is ready for such a large endeavor. She is a smart, beautiful and creative five year old who truly seems ready for a slightly more structured learning environment. Emma has already learned […]

Breast is not "best." It’s standard.

Breast is not "best." It’s standard.

By Lucky Tomaszek The first week in August is World Breastfeeding Week, and several international organizations invest lots of time and money into raising the world community’s understanding of the importance of breastfeeding for mothers and babies all over the globe. The decision of how to feed your baby is a deeply personal one, and […]

Parenting Freedoms

Parenting Freedoms

By Lucky Tomaszek Let Freedom Ring Having lived in a couple of different states before moving to Wisconsin, and having made lots of cyber-friends from all over the country, I can tell you that we live in a pretty good place for parenting freedoms. This state truly seems to trust parents here to make the […]

The Slightly Crunchy Dad

The Slightly Crunchy Dad

By Lucky Tomaszek My husband loves our kids, and he loves being a dad. From the moment our first child was born, he was a changed man. He is as crunchy as I am, even if he doesn’t like to admit it. The funny thing is, he doesn’t look crunchy. Allen is a former Marine […]

Who’s Your Mama

Who’s Your Mama

By Lucky Tomaszek Here it is, finally. Spring! The warm weather is calling my family outdoors, into the warmth and sunshine. I am particularly fond of the month of May, which brings several family birthdays and my wedding anniversary with it. I feel surrounded by the love of my children and my husband as the […]

The Homeschool Choice

The Homeschool Choice

By Lucky Tomaszek “Where do your kids go to school?” “Well, actually, we homeschool,” I answer a little hesitantly. “I really like being with my kids, and homeschooling works well for our family…” I’m trying to be PC, trying not to start another controversial discussion with this well-meaning woman at Chuck E Cheese. But after […]