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 Boots’ story

Hitting the road – together
Monday, 5 Mar, 2012 – 12:10 | One Comment
Hitting the road – together

I’m a mom, so I have strange dreams.
No, I’m not talking about the one shortly after I returned to work following the Boots maternity leave, when every night for a week  brake failure sent my …

A Type A pain in the neck
Friday, 24 Feb, 2012 – 11:35 | One Comment
A Type A pain in the neck

He’s a list-maker who’s used to same slip of steno pad for months to keep on track.
He’s a planner whose Valentines were ready Feb. 8.
He’s an organizer who gets that if you put away your …

The boy and the butterflies
Thursday, 8 Sep, 2011 – 13:12 | Comments Off
The boy and the butterflies

Boots  loves critters – anything with fur, feathers and fins. He’s always loved winged creatures the best, so I suppose it was inevitable that once the infomercials hit we would be buying a butterfly kit …

Baseball brainwashing complete
Monday, 15 Aug, 2011 – 10:59 | Comments Off
Baseball brainwashing complete

It took a while longer to get to the little one.
By the time Big Guy was 4, I knew he was destined to be a baseball fan. That was the summer when he opted to …

Epiblogue: He finally catches him
Thursday, 30 Jun, 2011 – 13:31 | Comments Off
Epiblogue: He finally catches him

Ever the practical soul, Boots doesn’t believe in “getting there is half the fun.” For him, there is no fun if there’s no reason for going. Not that I blame him. I’ve never seen the …

‘I’ve been trying to catch him my entire life!’
Wednesday, 29 Jun, 2011 – 11:18 | One Comment
‘I’ve been trying to catch him my entire life!’

I wonder if little Serena Williams ever slammed her racket in frustration after big sister Venus beat her again. Or if Kyle Busch ever got frustrated seeing nothing but older brother Kurt’s bumper as they …

You can learn a lot from a dummy
Wednesday, 6 Apr, 2011 – 12:25 | Comments Off
You can learn a lot from a dummy

I wish I could track down everyone who, two years ago, was ready to label Boots a mental midget just because Big Guy was doing well in kindergarten.
“Gosh, I hope Boots isn’t dumb,” was the …

Boots plays kindergarten cop
Tuesday, 5 Apr, 2011 – 13:32 | Comments Off
Boots plays kindergarten cop

Boots is  a law and order man – except when it comes to keeping his stuff in order, but what fun is being the sheriff if you can’t let yourself out of the occasional parking …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

Finding a way to help Boots find his way in the world
Friday, 19 Nov, 2010 – 15:11 | Comments Off
Finding a way to help Boots find his way in the world

“It’s a pickle,” Boots said when he came home from school after Mark Kistler’s Imagination Station assembly that promises to teach kids to draw in 3D. It’s no lie either. Even Big Guy’s skills had …

Lovey’s leaving?
Friday, 22 Oct, 2010 – 13:46 | 3 Comments
Lovey’s leaving?

“Mom, I need you to take a picture of El and me tomorrow morning,” Boots said right before bedtime last night. “No, take two of them. One for him, and one for me.”
OK, I said. …

Lovey lost – and found
Wednesday, 20 Oct, 2010 – 12:05 | Comments Off
Lovey lost – and found

He has little tiny black eyes about this big, Boots explained, holding his thumb and index finger about a quarter inch apart. He’s about this tall, he continued, stretching his arms to span a foot …

The boy who lives in his own little world
Tuesday, 14 Sep, 2010 – 14:18 | Comments Off
The boy who lives in his own little world

Sometimes he’s a hummingbird named Joey, fluttering his little hand-wings rapidly at chest level and cooing naaaanu,  naaaanu.
“That’s hummingbird for ‘I love you’,” Boots explains, though he quickly adds that Joey is no bird brain. …

Boots and the really cool rainbow pointer
Tuesday, 24 Aug, 2010 – 14:45 | Comments Off
Boots and the really cool rainbow pointer

Boots came home excited to show me what he’d bought at school, and I was excited, too. I’d wondered all day what he would pick.
“Do they have Thomas books?” he’d asked that morning.
“I didn’t notice, …

The cross-country science project fail
Friday, 20 Aug, 2010 – 15:16 | Comments Off
The cross-country science project fail

Boots wanted to grow apples – “nice, fresh apples, but for the people, not the deer,” he explained, eyeing the trail of half-eaten fruit the previous night’s marauders had scattered across his pawpaw’s yard.
Never mind …

Because it’s never too early to plan for college
Wednesday, 18 Aug, 2010 – 13:47 | Comments Off
Because it’s never too early to plan for college

He’s been in kindergarten less than three weeks but Boots already has his college choices narrowed to two:  California State University, Stanislaus or West Virginia University.
The first is a small college that was practically in …

Big boys ride the bus
Tuesday, 17 Aug, 2010 – 14:53 | Comments Off
Big boys ride the bus

He trundled to the bus stop less than a football field’s length from our back door, waddling slightly from the balk of a backpack a tad to big for him. He clutched a sheath of …

Beware the player
Tuesday, 29 Jun, 2010 – 13:52 | Comments Off
Beware the player

Due largely to the fact that Best Friend was watching and he didn’t want to lose face, Boots agreed to get in the pool the first day of swim class. He wouldn’t consent to go …

Trying to get in the head of a 4-year-old
Tuesday, 1 Jun, 2010 – 14:15 | Comments Off
Trying to get in the head of a 4-year-old

Boots woke Monday morning with one of his best smiles,  leaping out of bed and downstairs for breakfast. “HOORAY!!” he cheered. “It’s soccer camp day!”
Even though he hadn’t been particularly enthused during the indoor season …

Preschool graduation – go ahead and laugh
Tuesday, 25 May, 2010 – 12:24 | Comments Off
Preschool graduation – go ahead and laugh

The invitation set my snarkometer into overdrive when the teachers handed it to us that morning.
Preschool graduation. 4 p.m., May 19. Complete with a “commencement address.” It had all the markings of a big to-do, …

And Boots stood still
Friday, 7 May, 2010 – 10:47 | Comments Off
And Boots stood still

(With apologies to Karma Wilson, whose “Bear” series is one of our favorites.)
When Big Guy got his yellow, he was one euphoric fellow.

Boots thought karate looked fun so he begged his mom a ton.

But Boots …

How to communicate what you don’t know the words to say
Monday, 3 May, 2010 – 13:57 | 2 Comments
How to communicate what you don’t know the words to say

Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, Boots got to read his father the riot act via Skype this weekend.
“Why did you join the Army?” Boots asked the pixelated father on the computer screen. “I …