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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What goes up will come down: Here’s hoping we remember this time
Saturday, 4 Apr, 2009 – 0:45 | Comments Off
What goes up will come down: Here’s hoping we remember this time

By the time the guys were 3 they’d learned that sooner or later their pretty balloons would pop if I gave in to their pleas to blow it bigger. It took a few bouts of …

Consumers win round in credit-card shoot out, but it’s not nearly over
Wednesday, 1 Apr, 2009 – 0:22 | Comments Off
Consumers win round in credit-card shoot out, but it’s not nearly over

If you hold your breath every time a letter arrives from your bank and pray it’s not telling you your credit-card interest rate is about to skyrocket, don’t exhale just because Connecticut Sen. Christopher Dodd’s …

Bummed out? It’s really not the media’s fault
Monday, 30 Mar, 2009 – 2:49 | Comments Off
Bummed out? It’s really not the media’s fault

The headline – Feeling stressed? You can combat the worry line – was enticing enough that I clicked.
It included some interesting anecdotal nuggets about how the economy has taken its toll on our health – …

The era of the 14-year-old sex offender
Friday, 27 Mar, 2009 – 22:18 | One Comment
The era of the 14-year-old sex offender

Coming to a town near you: The arrest of a teen on child pornography charges for taking pictures of herself.
It happened again this week in New Jersey, when a 14-year-old was arrested after posting nude …

He’s not scatterbrained – he’s 3
Thursday, 26 Mar, 2009 – 1:12 | Comments Off
He’s not scatterbrained – he’s 3

Maybe Boots is not just on a mission to explode my head and make Big Guy late for school every morning when he wails “I can’t remember my shoes.”
Turns out he’s not just being whiny …

Forget momshell – I’d rather keep my sweats
Tuesday, 24 Mar, 2009 – 11:47 | Comments Off
Forget momshell – I’d rather keep my sweats

Six months into this work at home gig, I have to confess a renewed appreciation for my sweats.
Not that I haven’t always been infatuated, but before it was a love affair consummated only on weekends. …

Can’t work it out? Light it up
Monday, 23 Mar, 2009 – 23:26 | 3 Comments
Can’t work it out? Light it up

Lewis Smith, you flick your Bic for all of us fed up with basketball hoops on sidewalks and weed whackers blaring at 7 on a Saturday morning.
You’re carrying the torch for millions annoyed by gas-powered …

The days the music died on YouTube
Monday, 23 Mar, 2009 – 1:06 | Comments Off
The days the music died on YouTube

Sometimes it’s hard to decide who to root for in a hissing match between giants such as the one that’s been going on since December between Warner Music Group and YouTube/Google.
Unable to reach a new …

How does your garden grow? Not well at all
Saturday, 21 Mar, 2009 – 1:25 | Comments Off
How does your garden grow? Not well at all

Note to self: Set parental controls to block access to all articles mentioning “Obama” and “garden.”
Nah. Too vague. That also would filter anything happening in the Rose Garden. OK, then let’s try “Michelle Obama” and …

You’re right: The commoners just don’t get AIG
Tuesday, 17 Mar, 2009 – 1:18 | 2 Comments
You’re right: The commoners just don’t get AIG

Go ahead, tell us we just don’t understand.
Patiently explain why the $165 million in bonuses American International Group is paying 400 people are necessary to keep “some of these brainiacs in their seats.” Tell us …

‘Pretend I’m not allergic’ – there’s now hope that day could come
Sunday, 15 Mar, 2009 – 23:49 | Comments Off
‘Pretend I’m not allergic’ – there’s now hope that day could come

Next to “bop brother over the head” and baseball, “pretend I’m not allergic” is Big Guy’s favorite game.
Boots will sit with their toy cash register as his brother orders at McDonald’s. “I’ll have chicken nuggets, …

If the FDA can’t do better than mass confusion, put someone else in charge
Saturday, 14 Mar, 2009 – 9:20 | Comments Off
If the FDA can’t do better than mass confusion, put someone else in charge

Food and Drug Administration left hand, meet the Food and Drug Administration right hand. You two need to talk.
Right hand says we’ll look at banning children’s cold medicine because some parents misuse it. The reason: …

Our little Dora’s all grown up. Too bad
Tuesday, 10 Mar, 2009 – 12:46 | 2 Comments
Our little Dora’s all grown up. Too bad

She takes care of Boots, fights off Swiper, loves her abuela and can fend for herself quite nicely, thank you very much.
Ay, but just as dragons live forever but not so little boys, it seems …

You can’t blame all the problems on “going overboard”
Tuesday, 10 Mar, 2009 – 0:35 | Comments Off
You can’t blame all the problems on “going overboard”

When a well-connected party-goer mentions that she’s wearing a 10-year-old dress to a charity gala, it’s easy to dismiss everything else that comes out of her mouth as “oops, I did it again.”
And in fairness …

The importance of paying attention to the legalese
Sunday, 8 Mar, 2009 – 23:32 | 2 Comments
The importance of paying attention to the legalese

I am notorious for glossing over legal-looking documents that land in my mail box.
I’m not “oh, crap, I didn’t know the adjustable rate mortgage was going to adjust that high” negligent, but I’ve been known …

Misery loves company – and I have a lot of it
Friday, 6 Mar, 2009 – 20:57 | 2 Comments
Misery loves company – and I have a lot of it

I am officially sick of coffee.
I bought a pound of my favorite this week – Peet’s Major Dickason’s Blend, the formula so stout mere mortals spew it – and it hasn’t fazed me. I had …

Blaming Barbie doesn’t work
Wednesday, 4 Mar, 2009 – 23:25 | 4 Comments
Blaming Barbie doesn’t work

Confession: I love Barbie.
When I was a kid, my friends and I would play for hours, creating elaborate houses and villages. Set-up time actually took longer than play.
I have two dozen or so pristine in-the-box …

Manilow way too mellow to eradicate mall rats
Wednesday, 4 Mar, 2009 – 0:14 | 6 Comments
Manilow way too mellow to eradicate mall rats

Tired of ranting at teens to straighten out? Burned out from complaining but never seeing any change result?
If you can’t beat ‘em, then drive them out with old fogey music.
That’s the approach a New Zealand …

Watching an industry pass on in slow motion
Tuesday, 3 Mar, 2009 – 1:44 | 3 Comments
Watching an industry pass on in slow motion

My God, this is like watching an old lover stricken with cirrhosis and emphysema hobble around with a drink in one hand and a cigarette in the other.
Your heart aches for him. You want to …

Educational TV – um, maybe not
Monday, 2 Mar, 2009 – 1:23 | 6 Comments
Educational TV – um, maybe not

So you know those “music-focused developmental tools to stimulate babies’ brains”? Or the other DVD series that helps teach “problem solving, listening, classifying and concept awareness” to kids who can’t even crawl?
Turns out, those claims …

In good conscience, conscience clause had to go
Saturday, 28 Feb, 2009 – 0:07 | Comments Off
In good conscience, conscience clause had to go

You really have to wonder what George W. Bush was thinking (pausing for uproarious laughter to end in 3 … 2 … 1 …) when he enacted the Provider Refusal Rule during his final hours …

It might take a village to diet, too
Thursday, 26 Feb, 2009 – 0:12 | Comments Off
It might take a village to diet, too

The good news from this month’s New England Journal of Medicine: Regardless of whether you go Atkins or South Beach,if you cut calories you will lose weight.
The bad news: You’ll likely regain eventually.
That’s according to …

Earmarks a waste of time, not money
Tuesday, 24 Feb, 2009 – 23:44 | Comments Off
Earmarks a waste of time, not money

My congressman is against “partisan, pet projects.” He told me so in a screed last month about the stimulus bill that didn’t answer what I’d written him about.
My congressman is so worried about the government …

Evil Microsoft’s latest trick: Giving it away
Tuesday, 24 Feb, 2009 – 1:20 | Comments Off
Evil Microsoft’s latest trick: Giving it away

Funny how a company can’t even offer something for free without critics landing on it with both feet.
Such was the case Sunday when Microsoft rolled out “Elevate America,” a three-year program that will offer technical …

More Internet regulation in the name of protecting children
Saturday, 21 Feb, 2009 – 1:10 | Comments Off
More Internet regulation in the name of protecting children

Aren’t Republicans the ones who believe in less business regulation? Who are convinced America would be a much more prosperous place if those nanny-state liberals would get off Mom and Pop’s back?
Ay, but all bets …

RU going to jail over TXT IM?
Thursday, 19 Feb, 2009 – 0:51 | 2 Comments
RU going to jail over TXT IM?

Rule of thumb for the guys: You won’t get in nearly as much trouble for what you do as you will for lying about it.
That’s what a 14-year-old Wisconsin girl found out last week when …

Play’s the thing when it comes to early learning
Tuesday, 17 Feb, 2009 – 1:03 | Comments Off
Play’s the thing when it comes to early learning

You’re a conscientious objector to flash cards and Brainy Baby videos, but a tiny portion of your brain fears you’ve doomed you kid to life in a dunce cap.
You titter to yourself when parents complain …

Housing help a bitter pill but needed medicine
Monday, 16 Feb, 2009 – 2:28 | 2 Comments
Housing help a bitter pill but needed medicine

There’s a two-story house with a big back yard on a cul de sac about a block from where we live that’s just a picket-fence shy of perfect .
We have close friends on the street, …