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Barb Valentin

TribLocal blogger
Barb Valentin is the Platespinner - freelance writer, corporate minion, over-scheduled parent and connoisseur of fine chocolate. Married for over 20 years to the winner of her household's prestigious 2011 "Stay-at-Home Dad of the Year" award, she wages a daily uphill battle to retain the last shreds of her feminity while co-habitating with six males.

Besides authoring "The Plate Spinner Chronicles" for TribLocal, she is a freelance writer for the Chicago Tribune, is a contributing writer on Suite101.com and blogs regularly.

Most recently, Barb received the Versatile Blogger Award from Positive Parental Participation, a website that provides a forum for parents and other caregivers dedicated to nurturing a positive self image in children of all ages, for her blog Plate Spinning 101.

Her writing has also garnered her an Honorable Mention in the "America's Funniest Humor!" Writing Contest held by HumorPress.com, one of the Internet's highest-ranking humor contest sites.

Visit her on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Platespinner/197005670349524

Stories & Events

Children and family
happy moms day

The Plate Spinner Chronicles – The Winds of Change

Four years ago, I posted my first column on TribLocal, inviting you to follow my adventures as a working parent. With each submission, I’ve shared … Read more ›

Children and family
A win-win: a clean garage for me and a trip to prom for him

Financing Prom 101

Dear Plate Spinner, Prom is an expensive but socially important rite of passage for teens today. What are your ground rules? And how do you … Read more ›

Children and family
My James, an honorary citizen of Free Time

The Plate Spinner Chronicles – A Foreigner to Free Time

As this week dawned, my family calendar was awash in white space. No scout meetings, no team practices, no work hours for my husband or … Read more ›

Children and family
My Mom holding me up. Now it's my turn to help her.

The Plate Spinner Chronicles – Circle of Life

The late arrival of the flu season this year brought with it a reminder that life has a funny way of coming full circle – … Read more ›

Children and family
Surviving your child's stint as a student driver

The Plate Spinner Chronicles – Licensed to Survive

Despite our super hero aura, we working parents are mere humans. Still, if I had to choose one super power, I’d pick the ability to … Read more ›

Comments and replies

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  1. What a great story, Amy. Your son is a little wise man with a big heart. Well done!

    Posted to Turning Around the Christmas Countdown - St. Charles

  2. I agree with Ms. Ives. Maybe the City Council should consider the current vacancy rates of other downtown developments before breaking ground on a new luxury apartment building – especially when we’re in the midst of a decidedly non-luxurious economic environment.

    Posted to Council considers luxury apartment plan for downtown - Wheaton

  3. What a beautifully written, poignant tribute to these remarkable woman. Well done!

    Posted to Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep: Capturing the Image of an Angel - Downers Grove

  4. @barbvalentin Sadly, the Ice Lolly Cafe has since closed that location.

    Posted to Red Bandana: Ice Cream Running - Wheaton

  5. Karen – Thank you for sharing this beautifully written, poignant story. All the best to you and your family during this difficult time.

    Posted to It's Not Easy to Say Goodbye - Bolingbrook

  6. @barbvalentin Thanks! It might not be a great idea to actually do this. 10 miles, plus lots of ice cream perhaps is not the wisest of ideas!

    Posted to Red Bandana: Ice Cream Running - Wheaton

  7. A progressive ice cream/running party – I love it!

    Great article, Tony!

    Posted to Red Bandana: Ice Cream Running - Wheaton

  8. Great article, Karen. Very inspiring. Just goes to show, you’re never too old to try new things!

    Posted to Barefoot Water Skiing with a Senior Citizen - Bolingbrook

  9. Good luck to you, Anthony! I look forward to tracking your progress.

    Posted to The Red Bandana: Finding Fitness Through Running As Told By An Out Of Shape 40-something Guy - Glen Ellyn