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 in 9to5to9

Hard to put best foot foward when shoes are shoddy
Monday, 23 Feb, 2009 – 11:31 | Comments Off
Hard to put best foot foward when shoes are shoddy

Remember that rumor you heard before you were a parent about how expensive children’s footwear is a waste of money because kids always outgrow shoes before they wear out?
Lies, lies, all lies!
Maybe it’s because I’m …

A cheapskate is born
Friday, 20 Feb, 2009 – 11:30 | Comments Off
A cheapskate is born

Need help reining in your grocery bill? Unable to stop that yummy-looking package of pastries from jumping into the cart?
I have a consultant who can whip you into shape: Big Guy.
I’ll warn you, though, he’s …

When the housing bubble bursts close to home
Thursday, 19 Feb, 2009 – 12:45 | 2 Comments
When the housing bubble bursts close to home

Mostly, I deal with the economy crumbling around us by ignoring it.
Not ignoring it in a “oh, I’ll just pretend unemployment isn’t approaching 10 percent in my state and Dad’s just on a really long …

A new kind of sticker shock in our house
Tuesday, 17 Feb, 2009 – 11:49 | Comments Off
A new kind of sticker shock in our house

A friend who bought Big Guy a pack of stickers three years ago was astounded at his lack of joy.
“I don’t get it. My kids love stickers.”
Turns out, she was just too early. Oh, if …

Forget parenting school; I need referee training
Monday, 16 Feb, 2009 – 12:16 | Comments Off
Forget parenting school; I need referee training

Babies R Us has its inventory all wrong.
The stores stock all these cute little onesies and sleepers babies outgrow in five minutes. The shelves overflow with toys guaranteed to grow a brain capable of grasping …

Happy Valentine’s Day – ugh
Friday, 13 Feb, 2009 – 11:19 | 2 Comments
Happy Valentine’s Day – ugh

I’d screwed up, and Big Guy let me know it.
“Mom!” he exclaimed, pawing through a grocery bag of Valentine bling collected at school. “Look at this. Lollipops and candies. And all I gave the people …

Search is over for an effective alarm clock
Thursday, 12 Feb, 2009 – 12:15 | 2 Comments
Search is over for an effective alarm clock

I finally found a solution to my oversleeping problem: The Ultimate Alarm clock.
The Ultimate Alarm is not cheap: Delivery alone weighs in at thousands of dollars, and ongoing maintenance is pricey, too.
Nor is it compact, …

Learning that the world doesn’t love Bear
Wednesday, 11 Feb, 2009 – 11:36 | One Comment
Learning that the world doesn’t love Bear

It was supposed to be a glorious day for Bear, his chance to venture into the glorious world of kindergarten.
He’d been with Big Guy for years at preschool until El’s beastily behavior caused the teachers …

Big Guy’s hoop dreams, Mommy’s nightmare
Tuesday, 10 Feb, 2009 – 11:41 | Comments Off
Big Guy’s hoop dreams, Mommy’s nightmare

Diminished mental capacity is the only possible explanation for a 5-year-old and an 11-year-old kicking my butt around a basketball court this weekend.
Well, that and the fact that I’m a wretched player. Far worse than …

Big Guy keeps talking his way into trouble
Monday, 9 Feb, 2009 – 11:31 | Comments Off
Big Guy keeps talking his way into trouble

Big Guy simply cannot keep his mouth shut. It’s part of his charm, but also part of his downfall.
It keeps landing him in trouble at school, too, and Chatty  Charlie that he is, he always …

Party on, dude! 10 tips for doing it in style and on the cheap
Sunday, 8 Feb, 2009 – 11:55 | 2 Comments
Party on, dude! 10 tips for doing it in style and on the cheap

You know the economy’s getting tight when the bounce houses and pizzas disappear from the preschool parties.
You know we’re in a recession when the crowd that usually rushes to the kid party mills – you …

Virtually certain Big Guy’s not ready for a pet
Friday, 6 Feb, 2009 – 11:42 | 2 Comments
Virtually certain Big Guy’s not ready for a pet

I might never get to touch my Facebook account again. Not since Big Guy discovered MoMo.
MoMo is my baby dragon at SuperPoke Pets, an application with great value as a procrastination tool. Writer’s block?  Feed …

Buying time – if only that were possible
Thursday, 5 Feb, 2009 – 11:23 | Comments Off
Buying time – if only that were possible

Breaking news alert: Due to the economy’s continuing struggles and as a hedge against inflation, the Federal Reserve Board announced today that it will  hold the line on hours in the day at 24.
The board …

Finally winning a point with Big Guy
Wednesday, 4 Feb, 2009 – 10:16 | 2 Comments
Finally winning a point with Big Guy

First comes walking, then talking, then talking incessantly – all important milestones.
For some parents, though, the shining moment is when your 5-year-old finally has to concede a rhetorical point. Or maybe that’s just me.
Big Guy would …

Social niceties could be a lost art
Tuesday, 3 Feb, 2009 – 11:20 | One Comment
Social niceties could be a lost art

A friend laughed last summer at my naive spasms of guilt at getting Big Guy’s birthday party invitations out only a week and a half before the date.
“Ten days?” he scoffed. “You’re way ahead of …

Blatantly feeding the guys’ addiction – to books
Friday, 30 Jan, 2009 – 11:47 | Comments Off
Blatantly feeding the guys’ addiction – to books

She came to Big Guy’s school Tuesday with an agenda, and he fell hard for the sales pitch.
“Mom, the lady talked to our class today, and you have to fill this out. We have to …

Nurse Big Guy to the rescue
Thursday, 29 Jan, 2009 – 10:05 | Comments Off
Nurse Big Guy to the rescue

It was a desk chair that did me in.
A friend gave it to me a few weeks ago after I complained that the seat padding on my 10-year-old model was uncomfortably thin. She had an …

Second-hand is first-rate for Boots
Wednesday, 28 Jan, 2009 – 11:43 | Comments Off
Second-hand is first-rate for Boots

Poor Boots. At age 3, he’s not retail savvy enough to realize everything has to be brand-spanking new and expensive.
He actually prefers hand-me-downs, taking pride in wearing something his brother once wore. Or, in many …

Seeing stars and learning lessons about how to learn
Tuesday, 27 Jan, 2009 – 11:28 | Comments Off
Seeing stars and learning lessons about how to learn

Big Guy had big news Friday that he couldn’t wait to share the second Boots and I came to pick him up.
He told other parents on the way home. He told cousins and aunts and …

When a condom comes to kindergarten
Monday, 26 Jan, 2009 – 11:29 | One Comment
When a condom comes to kindergarten

It was early Monday morning, the sun was searing my still-sleepy eyes and I didn’t have as much as half a cup of coffee in my system.
The last thing I felt like facing was a …

In praise of food conspiracies
Friday, 23 Jan, 2009 – 14:09 | Comments Off
In praise of food conspiracies

Yes, I trick my kids.
I shamelessly spike marinara with spinach and proudly bill whole-wheat banana muffins as cupcakes. Big Guy won’t touch banana or spinach, but he gobbles both in their covert forms.
I also do …

Time for pitchers and catchers to report to the back yard
Thursday, 22 Jan, 2009 – 11:49 | One Comment
Time for pitchers and catchers to report to the back yard

Weather warm enough that we shed our jackets on the way home from school last week inspired  Big Guy to ask a version of the question flitting through my mind:
“How long until they’re playing baseball …

Cooking up a reason to buy a BlackBerry
Wednesday, 21 Jan, 2009 – 11:22 | 4 Comments
Cooking up a reason to buy a BlackBerry

I’m as geeky as the next girl but I’ve never understood iPhone infatuation, and the only blackberries I’ve craved are the ones that grow wild in the mountains in the summer.
That could be because I’m …

Bailout? No thanks. But here’s where you can help
Tuesday, 20 Jan, 2009 – 11:36 | 2 Comments
Bailout? No thanks. But here’s where you can help

Dear Washington,
This is going to sound strange coming from someone five months into unemployment, whose entire professional career has been in an industry on the verge of imploding and who’s looking for work in a …

This year more than ever, a birthday to celebrate
Monday, 19 Jan, 2009 – 10:11 | 2 Comments
This year more than ever, a birthday to celebrate

“Mom, who’s that guy whose birthday we celebrate?”
“Jesus?”
“No,” Big Guy responded, exasperated at Mom’s density. “The one whose birthday’s coming up  and I get a day off from school. The one who went to heaven.”
“Oh! …

Goofy is fun … when it’s not annoying
Friday, 16 Jan, 2009 – 11:50 | One Comment
Goofy is fun … when it’s not annoying

This morning should have been a piece of cake with Big Guy, considering that he was looking forward to gingerbread boys. Plus it was the first morning all week I hadn’t gone 15 minutes too …

Where will they be sleeping when the music stops?
Thursday, 15 Jan, 2009 – 11:36 | Comments Off
Where will they be sleeping when the music stops?

I have a back-up plan should the job market worsen: selling used furniture. I already have an impressive inventory of unnecessary beds.
And should things really get bad  – say, Bank of America flounders after buying …

Taking orders from a toothbrush
Wednesday, 14 Jan, 2009 – 12:52 | Comments Off
Taking orders from a toothbrush

The best parenting advice I’ve heard lately came from a woman restocking a grocery-store shelf as she overheard the guys vacillate over toothbrushes.
“Check out the Fire Fly. My daughter loves it,” she said in the …