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

Germs! Aaarrgggh!
Thursday, 20 Jan, 2011 – 11:41 | Comments Off
Germs! Aaarrgggh!

Content warning: Germophobes are strongly advised to don protective gear before reading this post. The rest of us should quickly buy stock in companies that manufacture face masks.
It was supposed to be a science project …

What do they dream? Probably two wildly different things
Wednesday, 19 Jan, 2011 – 12:40 | One Comment
What do they dream? Probably two wildly different things

We’ve been on a Harry Potter kick lately, watching them as fast as Netflix can deliver them after Big Guy started begging because he didn’t like it that friends had seen something he hadn’t.
Big Guy …

What’s in a name? A whole heap of trouble
Tuesday, 18 Jan, 2011 – 11:35 | Comments Off
What’s in a name? A whole heap of trouble

There’s name calling, and then there’s name calling.
We have zero tolerance for one kind in our house: Anything that’s gender, race or sexual preference-based. I called Big Guy out recently for saying, “that’s so gay,” …

‘Only children weep’
Monday, 17 Jan, 2011 – 11:28 | Comments Off
‘Only children weep’

“They’ve done it before and they did it tonight and they’ll do it again and when they do it – seems that only children weep.” – To Kill A Mockingbird
It was a dog and a …

Plans for the weekend? Only if I want to survive it
Friday, 14 Jan, 2011 – 14:40 | Comments Off
Plans for the weekend? Only if I want to survive it

Back in the days Before Children, weekend plans were simple:

Friday night, a drink after work or maybe dinner out.
Saturday night, a dance club capped off with a trip to an all-night pancake house where I’d …

Call 911 coz we have a grammar emergency
Thursday, 13 Jan, 2011 – 12:55 | Comments Off
Call 911 coz we have a grammar emergency

“I am heavier than him uh huh.”

“That is shinier than that yep it is.”

“I am happier than him OK right.”
Overlook the confusion about usage of he/him. I’ll work on that one later. Right now, I’d …

Tales from the waitressing crypt
Wednesday, 12 Jan, 2011 – 13:25 | Comments Off
Tales from the waitressing crypt

I can’t remember their name, though it was burned in my brain at the time. Just seeing it on the reservation list was enough to make me want to fake a case of bubonic plague …

How to teach math? Beats me.
Tuesday, 11 Jan, 2011 – 11:35 | One Comment
How to teach math? Beats me.

It’s not that I had the “bad math experience” in school that a recent newspaper article talks about – though I’m not sure what a “bad math experience” is because the article never defines it.
At …

Dreaming of the future we can almost see
Monday, 10 Jan, 2011 – 11:53 | 3 Comments
Dreaming of the future we can almost see

A little more than a year after Dad’s departure, his return is getting close.
Tantalizingly close. Not close enough to order the balloons or bake the cake, but near enough that we can see that it’s …

Seven years later and I still can’t let go
Friday, 7 Jan, 2011 – 14:22 | One Comment
Seven years later and I still can’t let go

I say all the right things when the guys ask about Rita, and I go through all the motions when she comes up and nuzzles me.
But when they ask I lie, because they wouldn’t understand. …

The guys and school lunch – at least two of us are happy
Thursday, 6 Jan, 2011 – 13:53 | One Comment
The guys and school lunch – at least two of us are happy

For Big Guy it fell into the category of Things That Are Really Important. That meant he was going to keep pestering me until I got around to making it happen.
For me it fell into …

There’s a neat freak inside. She’s just buried under paperwork
Wednesday, 5 Jan, 2011 – 11:13 | 3 Comments
There’s a neat freak inside. She’s just buried under paperwork

You know the mess is getting annoying when it’s bothering the slob in the family, a friend muttered as she stared at the pile of dishes in the sink.
It was only an afternoon’s worth, but …

I might actually miss them when they’re gone
Tuesday, 4 Jan, 2011 – 13:03 | Comments Off
I might actually miss them when they’re gone

I’m doing a little better at this work-at-home/parent-at-home gig now. This year, it took me until Day 17 of their 18-day Christmas break to cross over to losing-it loony.
That point came this morning, as I …

The guys mark one off their bucket lists
Monday, 3 Jan, 2011 – 10:56 | One Comment
The guys mark one off their bucket lists

Big Guy had been looking for a do-over for two years, ever since his last winter wonderland adventure ended in tears.
Boots yearned with all the passion a 5-year-old can muster to again experience the heavenly …

I can’t wait to see what 2011 will bring
Friday, 31 Dec, 2010 – 9:53 | 2 Comments
I can’t wait to see what 2011 will bring

I’ve had friends in my life who have done pretty interesting things – feats that make the guys roll their eyes and think “why can’t I have a cool mom like that” when I tell …

The sleepover that almost wasn’t
Thursday, 30 Dec, 2010 – 13:53 | 3 Comments
The sleepover that almost wasn’t

From the second a friend called to suggest it, I’d fully expected the sleepover to end in a wee-hours run to their house.
Boots is just too young and too clingy, I thought. Facing a night …

A boy’s knees
Wednesday, 29 Dec, 2010 – 11:51 | One Comment
A boy’s knees

Just look at those knees, an older man proclaimed the other day at the barbershop as we waited for the guys’ semi-annual shearing. You can tell he’s active, he nodded approvingly. Those are a boy’s …

Easy Bake – biggest oxymoron ever
Tuesday, 28 Dec, 2010 – 11:54 | One Comment
Easy Bake – biggest oxymoron ever

Mommy I want Santa to bring me that, Boots said as an Easy Bake oven commercial aired.
I ignored him, because Boots wanted virtually everything he saw on TV or in an ad this year. But …

Never get in the middle of a fight with a chihuahua
Monday, 27 Dec, 2010 – 10:51 | 3 Comments
Never get in the middle of a fight with a chihuahua

Did you ever do something totally stupid but think that for some reason you were going to get away with it?
Yeah, me, too. All the time. You’d think by now I would have learned that …

Merry Christmas, Dad
Friday, 24 Dec, 2010 – 7:46 | Comments Off
Merry Christmas, Dad

My heart goes out to anyone who I think is going to have a less than spectacular Christmas.
I hate it for the soldiers I still see using the WiFi in Starbucks on post. I fear …

The Christmas … pizza?
Thursday, 23 Dec, 2010 – 11:22 | One Comment
The Christmas … pizza?

I managed to corner a neighbor for a hushed conversation this morning as half the households on our street rushed to get garbage cans out to the curb in time. Without the kids in school, …

Big Guy’s big goal
Tuesday, 21 Dec, 2010 – 13:21 | Comments Off
Big Guy’s big goal

Mommy I have a goal, Big Guy announced last week.
What is it, I asked, fearing the answer would involve violence and mayhem performed upon his brother.
I want to be a brown belt by this time …

Shhhhhh! Don’t tell him he’s doing extra homework
Thursday, 16 Dec, 2010 – 10:07 | 3 Comments
Shhhhhh! Don’t tell him he’s doing extra homework

Like most of my instances of parenting genius, this one was pure dumb luck, too. Not to mention laziness.
It was a Sunday night at the end of a hectic weekend, and I just did not …

If you send a kid a Christmas card …
Wednesday, 15 Dec, 2010 – 12:35 | Comments Off
If you send a kid a Christmas card …

(In the style of “If You Give a Mouse A …,” with apologies to Laura Numeroff and Felicia Bond.)
If you send a kid a Christmas card, he’ll oooh and aaah over the cute and cuddly …

Hey, you. I have a kid up there, too.
Tuesday, 14 Dec, 2010 – 12:31 | 2 Comments
Hey, you. I have a kid up there, too.

I have a preschool graduation video in which a woman’s rear plays a prominent role. Camouflage is not a flattering pattern for her.
I have footage from a karate demo that shows more of a mom’s …

The Hickory Farms pizza gift pack
Monday, 13 Dec, 2010 – 14:44 | Comments Off
The Hickory Farms pizza gift pack

You’ve just received a Hickory Farms holiday gift pack – three weeks before the holiday, thanks to the stunning efficiency of both Hickory Farm and of the U.S. Postal Service.
Do you stash it under your …

The kids are gonna be all right
Friday, 10 Dec, 2010 – 14:02 | One Comment
The kids are gonna be all right

I was grumpy and sleep-deprived after “The Sleeping Doll,” a book that was supposed to help me get to sleep at 9,  kept me awake until 1 when I couldn’t put it down.
I was a …

Feeling the magic – for at least one more year
Thursday, 9 Dec, 2010 – 13:11 | One Comment
Feeling the magic – for at least one more year

“At one time, most of my friends could hear the bell, but as years passed, it fell silent for all of them. Even Sarah found one Christmas that she could no …