A brown belt for Big Guy – not that it’s important
Mon, 12/03/12 – 12:49 | Comments Off

It was testing week in karate and, as usual, Big Guy was under the gun. Not as much as he used to be, when he didn’t have a clue and had to frantically cram, but …

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Food

Picky eaters and allergy-safe cooking — the two aren’t necessarily unrelated.

Girl Gone Wonk

From policy to politics, this rant’s for you.

News

The day’s events in a family way — unless something else amuses me.

School days

From preschool to kindergarten — so far

Simple Gifts

Inexpensive homemade gifts, creative parties and low-cost projects, for Christmas and beyond. Many are easy enough for children to help.

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Articles by Debra Legg

Debra Legg is former interactive media editor for modbee.com and a freelance writer, editor and Web content specialist. A graduate of West Virginia University, she’s won awards for reporting and column writing in West Virginia, Kentucky and North Carolina. Her sons — 9-year-old Big Guy and 7-year-old Boots — provide plenty of fodder for 9 to 5 to 9, which is a nationally syndicated column through McClatchy Tribune Media Services.

There are rules, and then there’s 36 hours of Daytona
Tuesday, 28 Feb, 2012 – 13:07 | One Comment
There are rules, and then there’s 36 hours of Daytona

We have a strict 8 p.m. bedtime.
Sort of. Over the past two years it’s morphed to a strict “be physically in the bed by 8 but stay awake and read for a while if you …

Forget momshell – I’d rather keep my sweats
Tuesday, 24 Mar, 2009 – 11:47 | Comments Off
Forget momshell – I’d rather keep my sweats

Six months into this work at home gig, I have to confess a renewed appreciation for my sweats.
Not that I haven’t always been infatuated, but before it was a love affair consummated only on weekends. …

Can’t work it out? Light it up
Monday, 23 Mar, 2009 – 23:26 | 3 Comments
Can’t work it out? Light it up

Lewis Smith, you flick your Bic for all of us fed up with basketball hoops on sidewalks and weed whackers blaring at 7 on a Saturday morning.
You’re carrying the torch for millions annoyed by gas-powered …

Driving Mr. Big Guy
Monday, 23 Mar, 2009 – 11:34 | Comments Off
Driving Mr. Big Guy

Last weekend was one of those overload specials: Magic show at the library Saturday morning, birthday party Saturday night. Stop at the house to sleep briefly before a fun run Sunday morning – at least …

The days the music died on YouTube
Monday, 23 Mar, 2009 – 1:06 | Comments Off
The days the music died on YouTube

Sometimes it’s hard to decide who to root for in a hissing match between giants such as the one that’s been going on since December between Warner Music Group and YouTube/Google.
Unable to reach a new …

Good times for a good cause
Sunday, 22 Mar, 2009 – 23:56 | Comments Off
Good times for a good cause

In general, there is no reason good enough to get up at 6 a.m. on a Sunday. Especially not on a drizzly overcast Sunday that begs you to ignore the alarm and snuggle back into …

How does your garden grow? Not well at all
Saturday, 21 Mar, 2009 – 1:25 | Comments Off
How does your garden grow? Not well at all

Note to self: Set parental controls to block access to all articles mentioning “Obama” and “garden.”
Nah. Too vague. That also would filter anything happening in the Rose Garden. OK, then let’s try “Michelle Obama” and …

When a friend abandons you
Friday, 20 Mar, 2009 – 11:39 | Comments Off
When a friend abandons you

From the second he started  kindergarten, Big Guy gravitated toward Best Buddy.
By the end of the first day, they already knew each other’s names – an accomplishment when you’re not quite 5 and faced with …

A SWAT at an effort aimed at graffiti that hits the wrong target
Friday, 20 Mar, 2009 – 1:21 | Comments Off
A SWAT at an effort aimed at graffiti that hits the wrong target

Once in a great while an idea comes along that’s so deliciously foolish that you’re eager to see it put to a vote of the people. With all the serious issues on the ballot, a …

The macaroni and cheese holy wars
Thursday, 19 Mar, 2009 – 11:41 | 3 Comments
The macaroni and cheese holy wars

I love to cook. I do not love making six meals a day.
I don’t mind at all spending money on quality ingredients for dishes. I hate like heck throwing away food.
For years, the guys have …

Are school Web ads like being a little bit pregnant?
Thursday, 19 Mar, 2009 – 1:01 | 3 Comments
Are school Web ads like being a little bit pregnant?

Scholastic Inc.’s effort to push toys and trinkets on kids in the name of reading: Bad
Chuck E. Cheese’s generous offer to give schools 15 percent of the take from fund-raisers held at its restaurants: Tempting, …

A shoe-in for a sock addiction program
Wednesday, 18 Mar, 2009 – 11:48 | Comments Off
A shoe-in for a sock addiction program

Since we’re into adding warning labels to children’s media this days, “The Foot Book” needs to be next on the list.
Innocent introduction to literature suitable even for young babes? Yeah, I fell for that, too, …

Don’t assume bigger equals safer when it comes to food labels
Tuesday, 17 Mar, 2009 – 23:57 | 3 Comments
Don’t assume bigger equals safer when it comes to food labels

Talk about good evidence but the wrong assumption.
New test results presented this week at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology’s annual meeting showed that 2 percent of foods without any type of allergy …

The annoyingly happy-go-lucky Boots
Tuesday, 17 Mar, 2009 – 11:40 | 2 Comments
The annoyingly happy-go-lucky Boots

At what the point does “it’s just a phase” morph into “it’s a personality trait that’s not going to change”?
When, six months down the road and after untold lectures, scoldings and timeouts, a 3-year-old still …

You’re right: The commoners just don’t get AIG
Tuesday, 17 Mar, 2009 – 1:18 | 2 Comments
You’re right: The commoners just don’t get AIG

Go ahead, tell us we just don’t understand.
Patiently explain why the $165 million in bonuses American International Group is paying 400 people are necessary to keep “some of these brainiacs in their seats.” Tell us …

Must learn the strategy to ‘cheap fun’
Monday, 16 Mar, 2009 – 11:29 | Comments Off
Must learn the strategy to ‘cheap fun’

I am the biggest dolt since all those folks who bought Pet Rocks back in the 70s, though as the guys clamor for a puppy I’m beginning to realize the value of a pet that …

‘Pretend I’m not allergic’ – there’s now hope that day could come
Sunday, 15 Mar, 2009 – 23:49 | Comments Off
‘Pretend I’m not allergic’ – there’s now hope that day could come

Next to “bop brother over the head” and baseball, “pretend I’m not allergic” is Big Guy’s favorite game.
Boots will sit with their toy cash register as his brother orders at McDonald’s. “I’ll have chicken nuggets, …

The most important spelling words for an allergic kid
Sunday, 15 Mar, 2009 – 10:23 | Comments Off
The most  important spelling words for an allergic kid

Allergy-wise, it’s been a disastrous weekend.
We showed up at a birthday party to see bowls of peanuts among the snacks. It freaked Big Guy out, but I’ve been trying to teach him to avoid rather …

If the FDA can’t do better than mass confusion, put someone else in charge
Saturday, 14 Mar, 2009 – 9:20 | Comments Off
If the FDA can’t do better than mass confusion, put someone else in charge

Food and Drug Administration left hand, meet the Food and Drug Administration right hand. You two need to talk.
Right hand says we’ll look at banning children’s cold medicine because some parents misuse it. The reason: …

A clue to keeping peace at the grocery store
Friday, 13 Mar, 2009 – 13:17 | Comments Off
A clue to keeping peace at the grocery store

I’d like to claim I’d planned it, but like most of my instances of parenting genius the new grocery-store game was pure accident.
It started as I rummaged through the garbage can that my car has …

A SWAT for meddling in foreign affairs
Thursday, 12 Mar, 2009 – 23:39 | Comments Off
A SWAT for meddling in foreign affairs

You’ve just embarrassed yourself with months of childish stubbornness and inability to agree on how to solve a $42 billion budget problem. Only 18 percent of the state thinks you’re doing a good job.
What are …

Nightly homework hassles v one big lump of torture
Thursday, 12 Mar, 2009 – 11:42 | Comments Off
Nightly homework hassles v one big lump of torture

Six and a half months into kindergarten, it turns out that I’ve had Big Guy on the wrong approach to homework the whole time.
That’s what Best Buddy says, and if Best Buddy says it must …

Add an inhaler to that TIVO package
Wednesday, 11 Mar, 2009 – 23:04 | Comments Off
Add an inhaler to that TIVO package

Funny how a study that tells us what we largely already know – sitting around can hurt your health – can trigger such skepticism.
That’s how some have reacted to a British Medical Association journal article …

Child labor laws? Pshaw!
Wednesday, 11 Mar, 2009 – 11:38 | Comments Off
Child labor laws? Pshaw!

There is one and only one reason to have children, and it has nothing to do with ensure that the human race continues, leaving a legacy or any of that other warm fuzzy stuff.
It’s instead …

An education plan that finally drills down to basics
Tuesday, 10 Mar, 2009 – 23:05 | 3 Comments
An education plan that finally drills down to basics

It’s too bad that most of the buzz about President Barack Obama’s education policy speech today before the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce has to do with charter schools and merit pay.
Both are tired subjects that …

Our little Dora’s all grown up. Too bad
Tuesday, 10 Mar, 2009 – 12:46 | 2 Comments
Our little Dora’s all grown up. Too bad

She takes care of Boots, fights off Swiper, loves her abuela and can fend for herself quite nicely, thank you very much.
Ay, but just as dragons live forever but not so little boys, it seems …

You can’t blame all the problems on “going overboard”
Tuesday, 10 Mar, 2009 – 0:35 | Comments Off
You can’t blame all the problems on “going overboard”

When a well-connected party-goer mentions that she’s wearing a 10-year-old dress to a charity gala, it’s easy to dismiss everything else that comes out of her mouth as “oops, I did it again.”
And in fairness …

Egg-free chocolate muffins
Monday, 9 Mar, 2009 – 11:23 | One Comment
Egg-free chocolate muffins

If at first you don’t succeed, try chocolate again.
Frustrated after two failed attempts at a lemon layer cake – the second formulation still fell, but at least the oven didn’t catch fire – I grabbed …