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.

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

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The day’s events in a family way — unless something else amuses me.

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From preschool to kindergarten — so far

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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 The adventures of Big Guy and Boots

Turning the mountain back into a molehill
Tuesday, 21 Jun, 2011 – 16:35 | One Comment
Turning the mountain back into a molehill

Mount Blackie. Elevation unknown, so let’s just call it “hecka high.”
Except it’s not really all that high, unless you’re a 7-year-old itching to scale it. Unless you have memories of a previous  failed attempt. Unless …

Coach Big Guy at his finest
Tuesday, 19 Apr, 2011 – 13:15 | Comments Off
Coach Big Guy at his finest

Big Guy is like the girl with the curl in the middle of her forehead. When he’s good, he’s very good …
Boots is a living example of “better the devil you know than the devil …

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 …

Lessons from the lemonade stand
Wednesday, 16 Mar, 2011 – 11:47 | 2 Comments
Lessons from the lemonade stand

It was the kind of capitalism that capitalists would frown on because, while it didn’t take a village, it did require three sets of siblings.
First came the idea, which actually was stolen from another set …

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 …

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 …

A boy and his dog – or is that the other way around
Tuesday, 7 Dec, 2010 – 14:08 | 3 Comments
A boy and his dog – or is that the other way around

Some boys just need to have a dog. You can tell which ones by the way their faces light up the second they’re around a pup, they way they’ll play together for hours without a …

He likes him! He really likes him!
Friday, 10 Sep, 2010 – 13:26 | Comments Off
He likes him! He really likes him!

Once in a while – or, often, once a day – one of the guys will say something that really floors me.
But nothing either had uttered in their entire lives had prepared me for the …

The mountain that had to be climbed
Tuesday, 4 May, 2010 – 14:11 | 2 Comments
The mountain that had to be climbed

Big Guy had expected me to say “no,” because that’s what I’ve always said when he’s asked. It’s too windy, too cold, too hot. It wasn’t too hard to come up with excuses.
Saturday, though, he …

The guys and the weather vain
Thursday, 21 Jan, 2010 – 12:00 | Comments Off
The guys and the weather vain

It was a damp 50 degrees the other morning when Boots got dressed in a basketball uniform. It’s silky and red and one of his favorite outfits.
It also is a hand-me-down from Big Guy, who …

Keeping Daddy close while he’s away
Wednesday, 20 Jan, 2010 – 13:14 | Comments Off
Keeping Daddy close while he’s away

We’ve made posters just like Boots’ teacher helped him with at school, and we’ve created a living room salute out of old boots, an extra beret and Dad’s favorite mug.
They’ve adopted new Bear Force bears, …

The birthday partiers break out on their own
Monday, 23 Nov, 2009 – 13:05 | Comments Off
The birthday partiers break out on their own

It wasn’t quite as big a deal for Boots as it was when Big Guy got his first non-cousin party invitation a year and a half ago – but, then, Boots already has been to …

Who’s the boss? Usually Big Guy
Thursday, 1 Oct, 2009 – 13:22 | Comments Off
Who’s the boss? Usually Big Guy

I’ll admit it: I was a bossy kid. A pushy oldest sibling who told little brother and sister where to sit and how long to sit there as she lectured at the chalkboard.
I don’t think …

The bigger they are, the harder they brawl
Thursday, 17 Sep, 2009 – 12:22 | Comments Off
The bigger they are, the harder they brawl

It was their best imbroglio since the Pizza Man Melee almost a year ago, when they came to blows over imaginary food.
The BaseBrawl began when Big Guy decided to play in the backyard. He can’t …

Back to school: A tale of two first days
Monday, 24 Aug, 2009 – 14:04 | Comments Off
Back to school: A tale of two first days

One guy bolted out of bed, strapped on his backpack and bounced out the door, eager to get started at his new school.
The other trudged, stoop-shouldered, to his classroom.
It was exactly what I expected – …

Epiblogue: Mourning hand-me-downs that were ugly until handed down
Tuesday, 2 Jun, 2009 – 10:15 | Comments Off
Epiblogue: Mourning hand-me-downs that were ugly until handed down

One set is fire-engine red and silky-soft enough to sleep in. The other is gold and blue and could pass for a soccer uniform.
And both set off a pout so prominent Big Guy was in …

Bargains in the bulk candy bin
Tuesday, 26 May, 2009 – 11:30 | 2 Comments
Bargains in the bulk candy bin

Somehow, probably because of food allergies, the guys had managed to make it to the ripe old ages of 5 and 3 without discovering the joys of the bulk-candy bin.
That changed Sunday, and they now …

Yell if you’re hungry – otherwise, see you in September
Saturday, 23 May, 2009 – 23:54 | Comments Off
Yell if you’re hungry – otherwise, see you in September

Good thing I left accidental wiggle room when I vowed – or maybe I ranted – recently that not another toy would come into the house until the guys cleaned up the pile of junk …

Hand-me-downs offensive – to the kid who’s handing them down
Thursday, 30 Apr, 2009 – 12:23 | Comments Off
Hand-me-downs offensive – to the kid who’s handing them down

The problem is bellies.
Boots’ is – how shall I put this tactfully? – a bit prominent. Big Guy could slide under a door unimpeded.
All of which is creating an uproar as we go through the …

Teacher Big Guy’s classroom
Tuesday, 31 Mar, 2009 – 11:36 | Comments Off
Teacher Big Guy’s classroom

If I play my cards right, I won’t have to lift a single flash card to get Boots ready for kindergarten.
He and his brother will take care of it. And they’ll even think it’s fun. …

Big Guy redefines dangers of Big Brother
Wednesday, 4 Mar, 2009 – 10:17 | 2 Comments
Big Guy redefines dangers of Big Brother

So I was fixing lunch at 2 yesterday afternoon when Boots tugged at my shirt . “Mommy! Somebody sent us balloons.”
“That’s nice, babes,” I said absently, figuring I was entitled to answer absently if it …

Blatantly feeding the guys’ addiction – to books
Friday, 30 Jan, 2009 – 11:47 | Comments Off
Blatantly feeding the guys’ addiction – to books

She came to Big Guy’s school Tuesday with an agenda, and he fell hard for the sales pitch.
“Mom, the lady talked to our class today, and you have to fill this out. We have to …

Where will they be sleeping when the music stops?
Thursday, 15 Jan, 2009 – 11:36 | Comments Off
Where will they be sleeping when the music stops?

I have a back-up plan should the job market worsen: selling used furniture. I already have an impressive inventory of unnecessary beds.
And should things really get bad  – say, Bank of America flounders after buying …

An ode to office supplies
Saturday, 10 Jan, 2009 – 12:52 | Comments Off
An ode to office supplies

Pawpaw thought he was being sly, but I figured him out.
That didn’t diminish my love for the gift the day my burly grandfather showed up with a three-ring blue canvas binder filled with notebook paper …

Make mine a double, please
Thursday, 8 Jan, 2009 – 11:45 | One Comment
Make mine a double, please

We tried to make the guys’ Christmas haul as parallel as possible this year without buying identical gifts, because matching sets trigger an entirely different set of disputes when one guy breaks his toy but …

Sly Boots masters younger-sibling tricks
Sunday, 7 Dec, 2008 – 12:15 | Comments Off
Sly Boots masters younger-sibling tricks

The thump and the wail were loud enough that they brought Dad and me running from opposite directions. We arrived in the living room at the same time to see Boots red-faced and crying.
“What happened …

A different kind of Kodak moment in this house
Sunday, 23 Nov, 2008 – 22:39 | 2 Comments
A different kind of Kodak moment in this house

There’s an 8×12 spot over my fireplace that taunts me. I know I should do something about it, especially with Christmas approaching. I don’t think I can take the trauma, though.
The hole’s not empty: It’s …

9to5to9: Bridging the brotherly divide
Sunday, 2 Nov, 2008 – 23:44 | 2 Comments
9to5to9: Bridging the brotherly divide

I remember laughing uproariously a couple years ago at a blurb in Parents magazine from a mom whose kids fought over imaginary chocolate-chip cookies.
How incredibly stupid — yet, hilarious — I thought. How could sibling …