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.

When the test results are right – but wrong
Mon, 1/08/11 – 13:53 | Comments Off
When the test results are right – but wrong

I’ll say this about our first adventure in standardized testing land: Big Guy’s results from the spring exam dovetailed perfectly with his performance in the classroom. I’m just not sure that either indicator is accurate.
In …

Hold on there. You’re supposed to be a Reds fan.
Tue, 26/07/11 – 12:40 | 4 Comments
Hold on there. You’re supposed to be a Reds fan.

You remember the sweet little baby he used to be, and you wonder how it all went sideways.
You tried to raise him right – before he was born you ordered a onsie from your favorite …

Let’s not do the backlash thing again
Mon, 25/07/11 – 12:39 | Comments Off
Let’s not do the backlash thing again

It’s reminiscent of what happened to military personnel during the Vietnam Era, except at least this time the vitriol isn’t violent.
But it’s just as uncalled for and almost as ridiculous. Even worse: It’s the direct …

Big Guy at his best – when he’s losing
Fri, 22/07/11 – 9:37 | Comments Off
Big Guy at his best – when he’s losing

Big Guy had just gotten his little butt beaten badly, but he’d come up grinning so it was safe to broach the subject.
“So what did you learn today?” I asked. It’s my standard question when …

Forcing myself into little circles
Thu, 21/07/11 – 11:57 | 2 Comments
Forcing myself into little circles

I’ve come to the conclusion recently that my perfect friend would be a geeky food-allergic liberal with quirky sense of humor, an obsessive interest in education issues and a tolerance for cute crap my kids …

I can remember. I simply choose not to
Wed, 20/07/11 – 17:00 | Comments Off
I can remember. I simply choose not to

There’s a 30-year-old fishing tackle box on top of my refrigerator that I keep moving from house to house, though for the life of me I don’t know why. It’s covered with a thick layer …

The end of the toy era
Wed, 20/07/11 – 13:09 | Comments Off
The end of the toy era

I figured we were headed this way a year ago, when all Big Guy wanted for his birthday was “cool clothes.” Clothes? Didn’t that used to be the ultimate gifting insult?
Suspicion grew stronger at Christmas, …

On Tuesday, he ate …
Tue, 19/07/11 – 14:37 | Comments Off
On Tuesday, he ate …

Looking back, it was a mistake to read Big Guy “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” when he was a baby. Or maybe it’s his kindergarten teacher’s fault.
Whatever the reason, he’s been bent on living out the …

Why the guys have barely cracked a book all summer
Mon, 18/07/11 – 12:15 | One Comment
Why the guys have barely cracked a book all summer

I started out with good intentions, declaring as school let out that the guys would read for a half hour each day.
That soon devolved to bribing – they’d earn one “Mom Buck” for each 30 …

Get your hair cut whenever you want – I can wait
Fri, 1/07/11 – 14:01 | One Comment
Get your hair cut whenever you want – I can wait

When Daphine was a girl, red shoes were forbidden – only “loose women” wore them, she was told.
As a result, as soon as she got her first job she took part of her first paycheck …

A SWAT for needing extra time to do what we used to do in 6
Thu, 30/06/11 – 18:44 | Comments Off
A SWAT for needing extra time to do what we used to do in 6

There’s an impressive list of organizations backing the TIME Act – a bill pending before Congress that would provide grant money to schools that extend their schedules by at least 300 hours a year. There’s …

Epiblogue: He finally catches him
Thu, 30/06/11 – 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!’
Wed, 29/06/11 – 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 …

How Debra got her groove back
Tue, 28/06/11 – 12:31 | 2 Comments
How Debra got her groove back

A funny thing happened on the way down the mountain.
Maybe the cross at the top triggered a religious experience, or maybe my brain lapsed into giddy euphoria due to oxygen deprivation. Whatever the reason, exercise …

‘Doing Daddy’s job’ – and other ways kids cope
Mon, 27/06/11 – 12:03 | Comments Off
‘Doing Daddy’s job’ – and other ways kids cope

It started out as a joke between a 7-year-old and his mom. A few weeks after his dad deployed, the boy sat down on the couch, grabbed the  remote and began flipping channels. “I’m doing …

If you’re laying off nurses, you better have a backup plan
Fri, 24/06/11 – 13:12 | 2 Comments
If you’re laying off nurses, you better have a backup plan

The lack of health-care workers in schools is nothing new.
We saw the impact when Big Guy was in kindergarten and cooled his heels in the office for half a day after a snooty secretary diagnosed …

A SWAT for trying to control others’ photo albums
Thu, 23/06/11 – 17:09 | Comments Off
A SWAT for trying to control others’ photo albums

Somewhere along the line, taking a picture of a child other than your own became equated with peddling kiddy porn.
I’ve been scolded at birthday parties and confronted at school even though my lens was pointed …

The problem with “Deathly Hallows Part 2″
Thu, 23/06/11 – 10:57 | 2 Comments
The problem with “Deathly Hallows Part 2″

Day of Reckoning: July 15, when Harry meets Voldemort for the final throwdown, unless J.K. Rowlings goes cuckoo and writes another sequel. I really hope she doesn’t – how the heck do you best the …

Why butt kicking has never worked
Wed, 22/06/11 – 16:51 | Comments Off

I’ve always been convinced I’m living in the wrong era, but I used to think I entered the world too late.
I should have been born in the 40s so I could have felt the rush …

Monopoly and mad skills
Wed, 22/06/11 – 12:10 | One Comment
Monopoly and mad skills

It’s one simple board game, but in our house it has seemingly endless variations.
There’s the Bernie Madoff Monopoly Edition, where I sit in jail for as long as I can but still wind up …

Turning the mountain back into a molehill
Tue, 21/06/11 – 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 …

When second place is far more than the “first loser”
Mon, 20/06/11 – 14:00 | Comments Off
When second place is far more than the “first loser”

Big Guy’s latest trophy is by far his most impressive, though he didn’t grasp that right away. He did notice that it’s the biggest award in a collection that already borders on obscenely large, but …

The legacy of a life ended too soon
Thu, 21/04/11 – 12:45 | Comments Off

The guys are not squeamish about the news – there’s really no way a kid can be growing up in a military community, where events continents away can flare and invade your life. So …

Law & Order: Baseball Intent
Wed, 20/04/11 – 12:18 | 2 Comments
Law & Order: Baseball Intent

If there’s an app on my phone Big Guy is going to play with it – especially since I’ve taken the games off my geriatric-by-today’s standards Blackberry so I could install Major League Baseball At …

Coach Big Guy at his finest
Tue, 19/04/11 – 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 …

What I will never tell the guys about state testing
Tue, 12/04/11 – 11:14 | Comments Off
What I will never tell the guys about state testing

The guys go to a school that ends at second grade, though the weight of the entire student body has been thrown behind this week’s state testing.
The kindergarteners made posters supporting the second graders – …

Happy birthday – please don’t die
Mon, 11/04/11 – 11:44 | 2 Comments
Happy birthday – please don’t die

I’ve never paid much attention to birthdays – not since I turned 18, at least, and was old enough to drink. Yes, I am that old. Being old doesn’t especially bother me most of the …

A pox on both your houses!
Fri, 8/04/11 – 14:31 | Comments Off
A pox on both your houses!

About a week ago,  Texas Republicans had a good idea – yeah, it’s been known to happen.
That’s when U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert introduced House Resolution 1297, the “Ensuring Pay for Our Military Act.” It now …