Real LI

Buying and selling real estate in the communities of Long Island

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Valerie Kellogg

Valerie Kellogg fell in love with real estate when she bought her first home in 2004. Monitoring the real estate ads and checking out open houses soon became an addiction. The housing gods smiled down when she got offered the job of Newsday's shelter editor in early 2006, overseeing the real estate and home section. She had been at Newsday since 2000, editing the opinion pages, as well as the advice, faith and technology sections. Currently, she also edits the Long Island arts and kids sections and runs this blog.

A 1994 graduate of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, Valerie has worked at CBS (where she helped launch cbsnewyork.com), the Long Island Voice and the Bridgewater (N.J.) Courier-News. She taught journalism part time at the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University from 1999 to 2010. She attended the school on a full scholarship package, earning her bachelor's in art history with a minor in journalism. She grew up in East Northport.

Valerie lives in Huntington (in a house she bought in 2006) with her husband, Richard T. McKenna, and son, Harrison.

It's the little moments that make parenthood great

I'm feeling a sense of pride as I

(Credit: iStock)

Lately I’ve been feeling like I’m in a slightly zany commercial where Mom finds herself befuddled by behavior around her.

I recently left my almost-11-year-old son at home by himself to run to the store. When I returned, I saw him through a window of the house sitting quietly on the couch. I assumed he was on his iPod Touch. As I approached, I realized that the television wasn’t on, the Wii...

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How I coped with my son's hospital visit

The worst case for my son was meningitis.

(Credit: istock)

I wasn’t sure how I would go on as I stood over my son’s bed in the emergency room. These are the mad thoughts that can consume a parent when forced to imagine the unimaginable, think the unthinkable.

Harrison lay in a weakened state – a life-threatening state? -- in the darkness created by the hospital track curtains. He had been sent to Huntington Hospital earlier in the day by his pediatrician....

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How sweet the start of school can be

A cake for Harisson for kids' blog. (September

(Credit: Newsday / Valerie Kellogg)

No matter how ratty the first day of school is, it is guaranteed to have a sweet end at our house.

And it did this week when my 10-year-old received a slice of cake after dinner to celebrate sixth-grader-dom. The vanilla cake with white icing, bought in a hurry at the supermarket and stashed in the fridge before I had to rush to work, said in blue: “Congrats, Harrison.”

It’s been a tradition...

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Kid-approved books: 'Bugged,' 'Game Over, Pete Watson'

"Bugged: How Insects Changed History" (Walker and Company,

(Credit: Walker and Company)

So many books cross my desk. Here are two recent titles that so captured my 10-year-old son’s attention that he read them in one long sitting each:

-It wasn’t that author Sarah Albee also penned “Poop Happened! History of the World from the Bottom Up,” although that street cred helped. No, her recent new book “Bugged: How Insects Changed History” (Walker & Company, $17.99) engaged my son...

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5 things to talk about with your tween for the new school year

A father comforting his son. Photo Credit: iStock

(Credit: iStock)

My son started the sixth grade, so the following email recently caught my eye: “5 Essential Issues to Discuss with Your Tween or Teen.”

The tips are culled from Jay Scott Fitter, a family therapist based in California who advocates that showing respect for your children will help make you a better parent. Fitter, the author of the self-published 2010 hardcover book “Respect Your Children:...

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Son's movie becomes a family affair

A scene from "The Ninjas of Burgundy Drive"

(Credit: Harrison McKenna)

When the teachers ask my son what he did during the summer vacation, he can reply, “I made a movie.”

“The Ninjas of Burgundy Drive” came to be after Harrison, then 9, got an idea for a story, grabbed a spiral notebook and went to his room for a few hours over two or three days to write the script. He then got my husband to shoot it with his Samsung Galaxy on a trip to see family last summer...

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Judging a mom by her mileage

How much mileage do you have on your

(Credit: istock)

This Mom has 184,891 miles on her.

That’s if we’re measuring my experience since giving birth to my first and only child by how far my Subaru Forester has traveled. My husband and I bought the electric blue mini-SUV 10 years ago when I was pregnant with our son, Harrison. At the time, I was at the end of a years-long self-imposed no-driving kick, determined to employ Long Island’s paltry mass...

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