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.

Egg-free strawberry cake from a mix
Sun, 3/05/09 – 21:09 | Comments Off
Egg-free strawberry cake from a mix

For some reason, the guys have been clamoring for strawberry cake for about the past month.
They’d never had strawberry cake before in their lives, but I guess the assumption was, we love strawberries and we …

Review: DaVinci syrups not just for winter anymore
Sun, 3/05/09 – 20:37 | Comments Off
Review: DaVinci syrups not just for winter anymore

Used to be flavored syrups were a staple during winter only, except for the annual spurt of 104-plus degree days that make it too warm for even me to drink hot coffee outside.
That was before …

Play ball! Sort of
Sat, 2/05/09 – 13:12 | Comments Off
Play ball! Sort of

Disclaimer: Any resemblance to baseball is purely coincidental.
If peewee soccer players are bees swarming after the ball, then a peewee baseball team is a flock of ducks. Very hungry ducks, tripping over each other in …

The Devil Rays – Week 1
Sat, 2/05/09 – 12:18 | Comments Off
The Devil Rays – Week 1

Or, as Big Guy calls them, the Debil Rays. Confusion is understandable: We’re a long way from Tampa Bay.
The score: Who knows.
The time: An hour and a half. Thank heaven they played only two innings.
The …

Stay home when you’re sick – could it catch on?
Sat, 2/05/09 – 0:29 | One Comment
Stay home when you’re sick – could it catch on?

If anything good can come out of the nationwide hypochondria of swine-flu panic, it’s  that the notion that if you’re sick, you should stay home finally could gain some traction.
The governor of California said it.
The …

Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time – and don’t stick me with the bill
Fri, 1/05/09 – 12:39 | Comments Off
Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time – and don’t stick me with the bill

I thought the letter was a scam when I picked up the mail today: “Respond immediately to avoid DMV action,” the back of the envelope read.
Yeah, sure. The letter is going to tell me that …

A SWAT for insisting on an incomplete picture
Thu, 30/04/09 – 22:54 | 2 Comments
A SWAT for insisting on an incomplete picture

News flash: Little boys tend to look up to their fathers. And little boys whose fathers are in the military tend to find everything about the armed forces fascinating. The uniforms, the rituals, the gear,the …

Hand-me-downs offensive – to the kid who’s handing them down
Thu, 30/04/09 – 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 …

Homemade is best – except at school
Thu, 30/04/09 – 1:17 | 9 Comments
Homemade is best – except at school

My eyes turned pea green with a world-class case of baking envy tonight when I saw the darling treats a friend had made for her daughter’s birthday celebration at school.
Elizabeth over at Parenting Pink and …

Hands-on science from the hands of a preschooler
Wed, 29/04/09 – 13:12 | Comments Off
Hands-on science from the hands of a preschooler

Maybe seeing the bright blue cleaner I used yesterday motivated Boots to want to see what would happen if you dumped blue Pixy Stixx into the toilet.
Several Pixy Stixx, paper and all – I was …

Bugged by hard rock? You’re not alone
Wed, 29/04/09 – 0:47 | Comments Off
Bugged by hard rock? You’re not alone

Troops have used David Bowie to get Manuel Noriega to surrender and Barney to get  Gitmo prisoners to talk.
And then there’s the New Zealand town that thinks Barry Manilow will eradicate mall rats.
The latest entry …

You can’t eat that. I’m allergic
Tue, 28/04/09 – 22:54 | Comments Off
You can’t eat that. I’m allergic

Get rid of a few eggs and evict the peanut butter and before you know it a kid thinks he’s king of the cupboard by the time he’s in kindergarten.
Such was the case with Big …

Swine flu – um, I guess I should be worried
Tue, 28/04/09 – 9:55 | Comments Off
Swine flu – um, I guess I should be worried

If the reporter had had a camera and not just a micrcophone, he might have been taking his life into his hands by cornering a mom traveling alone with two rambunctious guys.
As it were, we’d …

A SWAT for a bill that needs to be derailed
Fri, 24/04/09 – 20:53 | Comments Off
A SWAT for a bill that needs to be derailed

There’s no denying that Nevada Northern Railway’s Engine No. 40 is a beauty.
Built in 1910, it pulled passenger cars 150 miles or so between Ely and Cobre, Nevada – in the central part of the …

Dad’s story: Graduation
Thu, 23/04/09 – 20:54 | 6 Comments
Dad’s story: Graduation

A 41-year-old takes on Army Basic Combat Training. Fourth in a four-part series.
Sometimes the only thing that keeps me from making a tire-squealing U-turn and heading for the nearest store that stocks duct tape is …

Dad’s story: Training gets real
Wed, 22/04/09 – 22:30 | 7 Comments
Dad’s story: Training gets real

A 41-year-old takes on Army Basic Combat Training. Third in a four-part series.
Your goal is to leave basic training without the drill sergeant knowing your name, a friend advised Dad around Christmas.
At graduation, you want …

Dad’s story: The departure
Tue, 21/04/09 – 20:02 | 4 Comments
Dad’s story: The departure

A 41-year-old takes on Army Basic Combat Training. Second in a four-part series
One dreary January day, two beginnings: Big Guy was going back to school, and Dad was headed for boot camp.
The timing was tight …

Dad’s story: The decision
Mon, 20/04/09 – 21:39 | 2 Comments
Dad’s story: The decision

A 41-year-old takes on Army Basic Combat Training. First in a four-part series.
I tried not to let my irritation show as he strode toward the front door that late summer afternoon.
I’d asked him countless times …

Murphy’s Law: The top 10 corollaries for vacations with kids
Sun, 19/04/09 – 20:10 | 2 Comments
Murphy’s Law: The top 10 corollaries for vacations with kids

Take an average family of four, minus Dad because Mom and the kids are traveling to see him. Add a last-minute frenzied rush to get out of town that makes the most disorganized two-minute drill …

Problems? Lucky to have them
Fri, 17/04/09 – 23:00 | One Comment

Sometimes, I look back over my life as a whole and it can be overwhelming. It is better to look at it one day at a time, as 12-step programs and Catholicism teach, because it …

A SWAT for taking the social out of social media
Thu, 16/04/09 – 23:02 | Comments Off
A SWAT for taking the social out of social media

First off, thanks to Debra for the chance to guest post on her blog.
One of her favorite features (and mine) is giving a SWAT – Stop Wasting America’s Time – to groups or people who …

A bit of blue enters the Parenting Pink world – and vice versa
Wed, 15/04/09 – 23:00 | 2 Comments

Well,  here I am entering the land of “blue.” And while I am no expert in the area of boys, I, like my friend Debra, am never at a loss for words.
Never.
Maybe it’s the fact …

The Portable Dad: Can he fix it? Yes, he can!
Tue, 14/04/09 – 23:00 | Comments Off
The Portable Dad: Can he fix it? Yes, he can!

When I turned seven (it could have been nine – my childhood memories are fuzzy at best…) my grandpa gave me tools for my birthday. Not toy tools, either; real carpentry tools scaled down for …

Four fabulous friends fill in – and you might not want me back
Tue, 14/04/09 – 22:44 | Comments Off
Four fabulous friends fill in – and you might not want me back

More than 200 posts into the year and I is tired. I is so tired I’m punch drunk and tittering at the thought of Professor Atkins’ head exploding – as it did every time I …

Waiting for the resting part of vacation
Tue, 14/04/09 – 11:53 | Comments Off
Waiting for the resting part of vacation

Vacation: Leisure time away from work devoted to rest or pleasure.
See, the dictionary is flat wrong about this. To find the real definition, you have to trace the word back to its roots.
Vacate: Leave (a …

Improve your love life with Claritin!
Tue, 14/04/09 – 1:10 | 3 Comments
Improve your love life with Claritin!

The latest study from the files of “Why Can’t I Find Work Like This”:  Hayfever puts stress on relationships, for reasons ranging from keeping partners awake with snoring, difficulty kissing, lower sex …

I declare I’m sick of War already
Mon, 13/04/09 – 12:32 | Comments Off
I declare I’m sick of War already

Two important caveats I conveniently forgot as I impulsively grabbed a deck of cards during a rushed Easter basket shopping trip last week:
** The son of a man who happily watches poker tournaments for hours …

I don’t want to see your butt, but I’ll defend your right to show it
Sun, 12/04/09 – 23:09 | Comments Off
I don’t want to see your butt, but I’ll defend your right to show it

How low should  sagging pants go? It’s the type of debate that always erupts when fashion trends butt into generational sensibilities.
I’ll admit, rear views exposed in public bother me, whether it’s a woman whose rump …