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

Girl Gone Wonk

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


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 By the way

Dad’s story: A turd in the fourth
Tuesday, 18 Aug, 2009 – 13:34 | 2 Comments

Sometimes life is all about timing.
There’s a chance the soldier took his protective goggles off briefly during training in The Box – 1,000 barren square miles at Fort Irwin where soldiers prepare for desert warfare.
Then …

Let him eat cake – from the Vietnam War
Friday, 24 Jul, 2009 – 21:47 | Comments Off
Let him eat cake – from the Vietnam War

So there I was last month, stressing until 2 in the morning over Dad’s “welcome home” cake, worried that it would be ugly or dry or have the wrong color stars.
Silly, silly girl. If I’d …

It’s a ballerina! It’s a fairy! It’s easy!
Friday, 12 Jun, 2009 – 12:05 | Comments Off

I’m kind of frustrated this morning because I don’t have girls. I don’t even know any girls young enough to appreciate this.
But if I did, I’d be all over the tutu tutorial – say that …

Lipstick or complaining? Which will it be?
Saturday, 30 May, 2009 – 8:17 | Comments Off

Poor Boots. He wakes up every morning chirping with the birds and with a cheery greeting. “It’s a beautiful day!”
Somewhere along the line, though, the grind of the world beats the beauty out of it …

Falling with style: If bots can master it, why can’t I?
Thursday, 21 May, 2009 – 23:18 | Comments Off

On one level, it’s simple: When you’re about to fall, just let go and fall. Trying to stop the tumble or, even worse, flailing your arms and legs as you land will make it worse.
Somewhere …

Epiblogue: Now he looks like the Karate Kid
Wednesday, 20 May, 2009 – 21:03 | Comments Off
Epiblogue: Now he looks like the Karate Kid

There’s often a reason why Big Guy does the seemingly quirky things he does. A reason that makes sense only in his 5-year-old brain, but a reason nonetheless.
I usually don’t question, because if it’s genuinely …

Nut warning on General Mills cereals
Wednesday, 20 May, 2009 – 10:18 | Comments Off

This one landed in my Twitter stream just as Boots was diving into a bowl of … Cocoa Puffs: “New peanut flour warning for General Mills cereals.”
Luckily, he’s not the child who’s allergic and Big …

Reason No. 3,542 the Brits are bonkers
Tuesday, 19 May, 2009 – 0:56 | Comments Off

From the country that wants to censor the Internet worldwide in the name of protecting its children comes another bizarre project, also in the name of “protecting children”
The British have launched a database, at a …

Epiblogue: Snow cone syrups
Monday, 18 May, 2009 – 23:38 | Comments Off

Do I ever feel like a dolt after my post last night lamenting the difficulties of finding dye-free snow-cone syrups.
I went to a Middle Eastern market today to pick up some hummus ingredients and ran …

Party on, dude: A kiddy luau
Saturday, 16 May, 2009 – 20:16 | Comments Off
Party on, dude:  A kiddy luau

Parties in the park seem to be the rage around here of late – a rage that will be over by the time Big Guy’s birthday rolls around in 103-degree July – and today’s was …

An extraordinary life
Friday, 15 May, 2009 – 22:15 | Comments Off

Six hundred and eight three killed in Afghanistan. Four thousand, two hundred and ninety six killed in Iraq. Many stories of incredible lives, often amazing sacrifices.
This is one such story.
Army Maj. Steven Hutchison survived two …

The case against rigid standards
Thursday, 14 May, 2009 – 21:38 | Comments Off

Standards are good – they’re a framework for building a solid education.
Problem is, though, they’re only a framework, just as the human skeleton is the framework for the body. And just like the human body, the …

At least your office fridge didn’t send you to the hospital
Tuesday, 12 May, 2009 – 20:51 | Comments Off

We’ve all been there – the office refrigerator were forgotten lunches take on lives of their own, rotting, curdling and fermenting until the odor creates a better appetite suppressant than anything on the market.
Few of …

E-mailoholics, raise your hands. But only if you can quit typing long enough
Monday, 11 May, 2009 – 23:07 | Comments Off

There are two types of people: Those who can leave work at work and those who are surrounded by it 24-7, minus a few hours for sleep.
A new study from Yahoo Research confirms that, no …

Worried about prom souveniers? You don’t have enough to do
Saturday, 9 May, 2009 – 23:46 | Comments Off
Worried about prom souveniers? You don’t have enough to do

Until Boots moved in and sent all my beautiful high school treasures to the Salvation Army, I still had a souvenir from my prom. It was a wine glass – for red, not white, though …

You’re right: This IS nuts
Thursday, 7 May, 2009 – 9:54 | 2 Comments

A Virginia man with food allergies orders a burger then digs in without checking.
He has a reaction, and now he’s filed a whopper of a suit against Burger King, claiming the sandwich made him sick.
The …

Isn’t it about time for food safety reform?
Monday, 4 May, 2009 – 10:11 | Comments Off

More than 100 years after Franklin Roosevelt pushed new food safety laws, virtually everyone agrees it isn’t working.
When Kraft supports giving the Food and Drug Administration recall powers, something is amiss.
When the president creates a …

Really, how many computers does one house need?
Sunday, 3 May, 2009 – 21:45 | Comments Off
Really, how many computers does one house need?

One of the last things I asked Dad before we left him to wing our way home was, “Are you sure you don’t want me to leave my laptop with you? You might need it.
“Nah. …

Funny of the Day: You know you’re old, when …
Friday, 1 May, 2009 – 21:55 | Comments Off

Tales from the classroom and “easy” pop quiz questions that turned out to be anything but:
A teacher asked students about a famous tennis player whose initials are AA and who once was married to a …

Top 5 ways to avoid swine flu
Friday, 1 May, 2009 – 13:09 | Comments Off

1. If you’re having a hot flash, don’t assume it’s because you’re in your 50s. Have your son take you to the emergency room. You might have swine flu.
2. If you sneeze, forget the fact …

Epiblogue: Barefoot’s not such a bad idea
Thursday, 30 Apr, 2009 – 21:16 | Comments Off
Epiblogue: Barefoot’s not such a bad idea

Two months and nine days after the coveted Batman shoes arrived, the coveted Batman shoes are in the garbage.
Big Guy’s recent growth spurt is partly to blame: He’s gained a couple of inches and half …

Here’s the 411: On swine flu
Thursday, 30 Apr, 2009 – 12:33 | Comments Off

It’s a few years late and a little awkward, but the government is making steady progress on catching up with the rest of teh interwebs in providing timely information.
The latest effort, which involves the Centers …

Funny of the day: Seven tries later, a learner’s permit
Thursday, 30 Apr, 2009 – 9:35 | Comments Off

I’m not scatter brained. Really, I’m not. It’s just that some days I’m, well, organization challenged.
That’s why my self-esteem got a boost this morning when the daily  Dad-O-Matic newsletter landed in my inbox and included …

He has to hear it from someone besides Mom
Thursday, 30 Apr, 2009 – 0:14 | Comments Off
He has to hear it from someone besides Mom

He’s not going to wear a batting helmet – it’s silly.
He’s not going to hit off a tee – that’s for 2-year-olds.
He’s not going to put his hands closer together on the bat because that’s …