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

Retiring – again – as the finder of lost objects
Tuesday, 15 Mar, 2011 – 13:24 | One Comment
Retiring – again – as the finder of lost objects

For want of a sock, the soccer game was lost.
Technically, I don’t know that the game was lost. I do know, though, that Boots was lost to the game after he decided to sit on …

At home, at last
Monday, 14 Mar, 2011 – 11:19 | Comments Off
At home, at last

The only way to keep a secret in this house is if one of the beings that knows it can’t speak.
That’s why I confided only in the dog a few Thursdays ago when I found …

Whose Kindle is it anyway?
Thursday, 3 Mar, 2011 – 13:23 | Comments Off
Whose Kindle is it anyway?

As I unloaded a trunkload of guy goodies last week, a tiny chunk of petulant poutiness came sneaking up from my gut. It worked its way to my throat, where it stuck for the next …

When PCS stands for “poor child’s sad”
Monday, 28 Feb, 2011 – 11:05 | One Comment
When PCS stands for “poor child’s sad”

Big Guy survived his BFF’s move last spring, and the relationship continues to thrive thanks to unlimited long distance and Skype. He teetered last week, though, when another friend – the first he’d made here …

Big boys do cry
Friday, 25 Feb, 2011 – 14:28 | One Comment
Big boys do cry

After all the warnings that any paper left lying around faced extreme peril, I was the one who screwed up.
I was sorting through Big Guy’s envelope of graded school work when I moved his Valentine’s …

Keep your hands off my desk. Please.
Thursday, 24 Feb, 2011 – 12:09 | Comments Off
Keep your hands off my desk. Please.

I thought I was choosing wisely when I put my desk in front of a window in the family room when we moved here.
It’s usually a sunny spot until mid-afternoon, which helps wake me up …

The competition conundrum
Wednesday, 23 Feb, 2011 – 12:46 | One Comment
The competition conundrum

Competition is good: Before his last indoor soccer game last winter, Big Guy knew his team hadn’t lost all season. He saw that slipping away and begged his coach to put him in on defense …

Looks like Boots has a roommate – again
Tuesday, 22 Feb, 2011 – 12:23 | One Comment
Looks like Boots has a roommate – again

When I heard the thump, I knew I was in trouble.
I had no idea how much trouble until I woke up this morning with arms like cooked spaghetti. My back ached, and I’d nodded off …

‘I need a favor’ – see, that’s not so hard
Friday, 18 Feb, 2011 – 11:34 | Comments Off
‘I need a favor’ – see, that’s not so hard

I have a problem with asking for help. Part of it’s because of  due to an independent streak, but a great deal of the hesitancy has been learned. Why ask for help when you can’t …

Reading books about stuff
Thursday, 17 Feb, 2011 – 13:33 | One Comment
Reading books about stuff

Though he’s finished all the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” books and the 10-volume “39 Clues” series – does that make it 390 Clues? – Big Guy is not much on stories. He has a …

For once common sense wins out
Wednesday, 16 Feb, 2011 – 11:59 | Comments Off
For once common sense wins out

The flier about a children’s drama program coming to Fort Irwin couldn’t have done more to capture my attention if it’d been written in neon:
A week-long workshop capped by a performance of “The Wizard of …

You want to be sick? You’re finally getting your wish
Tuesday, 15 Feb, 2011 – 12:27 | Comments Off
You want to be sick? You’re finally getting your wish

Seriously, how was I supposed to know when Boots woke up crying that his butt hurt that he would be hanging his head over a garbage can an hour later?
The problem was, he’d been complaining …

The most boring way on Earth to end up injured
Monday, 14 Feb, 2011 – 11:00 | 2 Comments
The most boring way on Earth to end up injured

In the past year in a half, Big Guy has had a cast on his arm, an Ace on his ankle and, now, an arm in a sling. The causes were monkey bars, tripping at …

The dentist – worse than driving down range
Friday, 11 Feb, 2011 – 11:58 | 2 Comments
The dentist – worse than driving down range

The surprising part is not that the Army is telling Dad he has to have his wisdom teeth removed – that’s pretty much pro forma, though I’m not sure why. A friend who used to …

Somehow twixt September and now, he’s turned into a soccer player
Thursday, 10 Feb, 2011 – 11:36 | Comments Off
Somehow twixt September and now, he’s turned into a soccer player

I’ve always said that Boots would be better off in a dance class than on a sports team, because he’s turned every game he’s ever been involved in into a recital. If  I could find …

Helicopter, tigers and slackers, oh my!
Wednesday, 9 Feb, 2011 – 12:45 | Comments Off
Helicopter, tigers and slackers, oh my!

I am not a helicopter mom. In fact, once I get past freaking out at the amateurish nature of the guys’ “made it myself” art projects, I silently mock picture-perfect productions that scream parental micromanagement.
I …

Yes, the airplane comes – eventually
Monday, 7 Feb, 2011 – 13:27 | 2 Comments
Yes, the airplane comes – eventually

There’s a reason the acronym AMC – for the military’s Air Mobility Command – is jokingly translated to “Airplane Might Come.”
There’s also a reason that a popular prayer asks, “God give me the serenity to …

If they hear it at home, it has no crediblity
Friday, 4 Feb, 2011 – 13:14 | Comments Off
If they hear it at home, it has no crediblity

Take your average mild-mannered mom wearing jeans and a T-shirt, stand her in her kitchen and have her talk to kids about the importance of dental hygiene. Chances are their eyes will glaze over like …

Bring it on, Monopoly
Thursday, 3 Feb, 2011 – 12:38 | Comments Off
Bring it on, Monopoly

Boots rolled the dice and chuffed his tiny train along the Monopoly board, finishing on Reading Railroad. He beamed as he declined to buy it. “I’m going to save my money!” he smiled, waving two …

Bloody Mary? Oh, the horrors!
Wednesday, 2 Feb, 2011 – 10:02 | Comments Off
Bloody Mary? Oh, the horrors!

Big Guy will watch “GI Joe: Rise of the Cobra” repeatedly and not be bothered a bit. He didn’t flinch during any “Harry Potter” one through four, though he did think “The Goblet of Fire” …

Wanted: Guide dog for an elephant
Tuesday, 1 Feb, 2011 – 13:07 | Comments Off
Wanted: Guide dog for an elephant

The loveys tend to reappear when the guys are in the middle of uncertainty, such as the current chaos of knowing their dad will be back sometime sooner rather than later but not knowing exactly …

A soldier and his Samantha
Monday, 31 Jan, 2011 – 12:37 | Comments Off
A soldier and his Samantha

I have no idea who he is, but I’ve heard the voice before.
It’s the voice filled fatigue the likes of which those of us who haven’t been there can’t begin to imagine. It’s a voice …

Letting them watch things I never thought I would
Friday, 28 Jan, 2011 – 13:24 | One Comment
Letting them watch things I never thought I would

“Too violent for kids, too childish for grownups,” is how Common Sense Media describes “GI Joe: Rise of the Cobra.”
“There are probably no more than 20 minutes when there is not violence,” reviewers at IMDb …

Creating a family of cereal killers
Thursday, 27 Jan, 2011 – 12:14 | One Comment
Creating a family of cereal killers

Confiscate a kid’s candy and chuck his chips and what do you get?
A boy so desperate for sweets that he’ll eat Honey Kix for the sugar buzz. A lad so crazed for crunch that he’ll …

It’s not always as it appears
Wednesday, 26 Jan, 2011 – 12:30 | Comments Off
It’s not always as it appears

When Rita heard the roar of the bus engine and the wheesh of the brakes, her ears perked up. She knows those sounds. They mean it’s time for the first of her boys to come …

You have only 20 words. Use them wisely
Tuesday, 25 Jan, 2011 – 13:09 | Comments Off
You have only 20 words. Use them wisely

I read somewhere a long time ago that a dog is about as intelligent as a 3-year-old. I read somewhere recently that a dog can understand only about 20 words, which means someone’s either underestimating …

Yes, girls can do that now
Monday, 24 Jan, 2011 – 11:27 | Comments Off
Yes, girls can do that now

He looks around among his friends and sees only a few women in green. It was inevitable that the question would come up.
“Mommy, why aren’t there many girls in the Army?” Big Guy asked.
There are …

The birds and bees and ABCs
Friday, 21 Jan, 2011 – 14:37 | Comments Off
The birds and bees and ABCs

My only consolation as I read the note from Boots’ teacher is that he wasn’t the one in trouble this time.
Please talk to your children about not having boyfriends and girlfriends at school, she wrote. …