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.

Why I won’t ask our school to pay for pricey cookies
Mon, 5/07/10 – 13:38 | 3 Comments
Why I won’t ask our school to pay for pricey cookies

I ran across a story this morning about a school district in South Dakota that goes out of its way – to the tune of paying an extra $40 for a case of cookies …

The right to remain silent – until you can’t stand it any longer
Mon, 5/07/10 – 10:00 | Comments Off
The right to remain silent – until you can’t stand it any longer

Children’s shows have felled many a strong person. With me, the waltz scene in “Beauty and the Beast” used to do it. I knew that, and used it to my advantage, popping the tape into …

What’s in Dad’s care package
Sun, 4/07/10 – 12:24 | Comments Off
What’s in Dad’s care package

We really should have sent a tooth brush with this one. Or, at the least, labeled it with a warning. Caution: Most of the contents will do severe dental damage.
I picked out the Oreo Cakesters, …

Happy Fourth of July!
Sun, 4/07/10 – 12:13 | Comments Off
Happy Fourth of July!

Big Guy’s shorts have been in a wad since late last week, when I came home with a t-shirt featuring a baseball and bats arranged into an American flag. “No fair! I need a Fourth …

He’d just kill for a beer
Fri, 2/07/10 – 13:26 | Comments Off
He’d just kill for a beer

Kimberly Sands had a new Tweety Bird swim suit and a good times ahead of her when she woke up that June morning. She was ready to go swimming and eat ice cream at a …

Toy Story became my story
Thu, 1/07/10 – 14:51 | One Comment
Toy Story became my story

I can’t complain about the 3D, because I saw it at a drive-in.
I won’t critique the CGI, other than to say it’s amazing how much emotion filmmakers can pack into characters that exist only in …

If you serve it, they will eat. Eventually.
Wed, 30/06/10 – 14:29 | 2 Comments
If you serve it, they will eat. Eventually.

In the past month, Big Guy has proclaimed fish sticks “delicious” and watermelon “yummy.” He’s swooned over apple cobbler and eaten a rainbow-colored salad packed with greens, tomatoes, zucchini and carrots. He wasn’t wild about …

What not to look for in an allergist
Tue, 29/06/10 – 14:53 | Comments Off
What not to look for in an allergist

I’d been lucky in my lifetime to have never run into a truly bad doctor. Sure, there was the guy when I was in high school who told me my nose was definitely broken but …

Beware the player
Tue, 29/06/10 – 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 …

The legacy of Robert C. Byrd
Mon, 28/06/10 – 23:15 | Comments Off

It was more than 20 years ago when I met U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd, but I recall two things vividly about that day.
The first was how ill at ease he appeared at what was …

Smile! You’re always on camera!
Mon, 28/06/10 – 13:04 | Comments Off
Smile! You’re always on camera!

Are you the photographer we hired, a woman asked at Big Guy’s school as I checked in during the final week.
No, I just carry enough gear to power a small television station, I said. His …

The new allergy mantra: You probably won’t outgrow it
Wed, 23/06/10 – 15:01 | 4 Comments
The new allergy mantra: You probably won’t outgrow it

It didn’t really hit Big Guy for almost a full day after I broke the news about his latest allergy test results. He figured it out while we were standing in the food court at …

When your kid can kick your butt
Tue, 22/06/10 – 14:25 | Comments Off
When your kid can kick your butt

Given that Big Guy was fearlessly toddling to the top of tall structures by the time he was 14-months-old, I’ve long known that the day would come when he would surpass me athletically.
I didn’t expect …

Pardon my whine …
Mon, 21/06/10 – 14:23 | 2 Comments
Pardon my whine …

It never occurred to me that my Father’s Day post was whiny, let alone grating, until a commenter labeled it as such after a friend posted a link to it on Facebook.
In fact, I was …

He’s not our soldier. He’s our daddy
Sun, 20/06/10 – 10:40 | 2 Comments
He’s not our soldier. He’s our daddy

“When fathers are not present, their children and families cope with an absence government cannot fill.” – President Barack Obama, Father’s Day proclamation.
If there’s one thing the Army does that scrapes fingernails down my mental …

What’s in Dad’s care package
Sun, 20/06/10 – 8:43 | Comments Off
What’s in Dad’s care package

We pulled out hair out for an idea for Father’s Day before we finally wound up in the crafts shop on post. I wish we’d wound up there a week earlier, because it was too …

The toys have changed but the game’s the same
Fri, 18/06/10 – 14:59 | 3 Comments
The toys have changed but the game’s the same

These kids  just don’t know how easy they have it.
Back in the day when I was walking four miles to the bus stop, up hill both ways, I needed a radio, a tape recorder, cassettes, …

The problem with peanuts and planes
Thu, 17/06/10 – 14:26 | Comments Off
The problem with peanuts and planes

With an energy level that makes coffee nervous and a comedic style that coaxes even the most reticent into the water, Miss S is the best swim instructor on the planet.
This morning, she also was …

The problem with bribes is they expect them
Wed, 16/06/10 – 13:14 | Comments Off
The problem with bribes is they expect them

I’ll confess: I bribed Boots this morning, and it worked.
During Day One of swimming class, he did great until the instructor wanted them to bob  in the water.
“No,” he insisted quietly but firmly, with the …

Riding in cars with boys
Tue, 15/06/10 – 14:08 | Comments Off
Riding in cars with boys

If you ask the guys, they’ll happily complain loudly about it. They’re the last kids at Fort Irwin, maybe even the world, who don’t have Nintendo DSes, and it’s all because their mom is mean, …

No hablo futbol
Mon, 14/06/10 – 11:48 | One Comment
No hablo futbol

Baseball is my native language, but I’m fluent in basketball, football and figure skating.
I can hold a conversation in NASCAR fake my way through several other sports, including hockey and golf. It’s the equivalent of …

What’s in Dad’s care package
Sun, 13/06/10 – 9:16 | Comments Off
What’s in Dad’s care package

Welcome to the summer vacation edition of care packages, where both guys are in tow during shopping trips and they bicker all the way through the commissary about what Dad’s going to like best.
“I’m getting …

A very special team
Fri, 11/06/10 – 14:20 | Comments Off
A very special team

There are teams, and then there are teams.
I grew up a Cincinnati fan, so the Big Red Machine era, of course, is one of my favorites in sports. But the 1990 Reds, who swept the …

You call it Mom Hair. I call it extra sleep
Thu, 10/06/10 – 13:46 | Comments Off
You call it Mom Hair. I call it extra sleep

It used to happen every time I went to the salon:  The stylist would manhandle my unruly mop into a sleek, fashionable ‘do. She’d lament that I never fix it that way myself, assuring me …

What if …
Wed, 9/06/10 – 13:34 | Comments Off

I watched “The Tooth Fairy” this weekend, and I’m not ashamed to admit it. After all, seeing Dwayne Johnson in fairy wings actually is far more believable his previous gig as a pro wrestler.
I’m also …

Being a blockhead about block leave
Mon, 7/06/10 – 13:42 | Comments Off
Being a blockhead about block leave

It’s funny how sometimes two wildly separate segments of your life can create a deja vu-type pattern.
When I was a kid there was miner’s vacation, that period in late July and early August when Appalachia …

What’s in Dad’s care package
Sun, 6/06/10 – 11:16 | 2 Comments
What’s in Dad’s care package

This package fell in a week when we had six baseball games, a preschool “congraduation,” a first-grade party, a baseball party and four karate classes. My brain was fried, so I turned the shopping over …

Thank heaven Mrs. M has a great bread pizza recipe
Wed, 2/06/10 – 12:39 | Comments Off
Thank heaven Mrs. M has a great bread pizza recipe

I was there for the preparation but had to leave before the feast began, so I was curious to hear Big Guy’s reaction to the lunch that was part of his end-of-school party.
“Oh. My. God,” …