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.

Looks like Boots has a roommate – again
Tue, 22/02/11 – 12:23 | One Comment
Looks like Boots has a roommate – again

When I heard the thump, I knew I was in trouble.
I had no idea how much trouble until I woke up this morning with arms like cooked spaghetti. My back ached, and I’d nodded off …

Egg-free white velvet cake
Sat, 19/02/11 – 9:00 | Comments Off
Egg-free white velvet cake

This might be a case where the egg-free version is better than the original – it got rave reviews from Rita, too.
For some reason, I decided to give a new recipe a try even though …

‘I need a favor’ – see, that’s not so hard
Fri, 18/02/11 – 11:34 | Comments Off
‘I need a favor’ – see, that’s not so hard

I have a problem with asking for help. Part of it’s because of  due to an independent streak, but a great deal of the hesitancy has been learned. Why ask for help when you can’t …

A SWAT for cramming for kindergarten
Thu, 17/02/11 – 17:01 | Comments Off
A SWAT for cramming for kindergarten

You know what they say about kindergarten being the new first grade?
Well, forget it. It turns out that advanced kindergarten is life in the slow lane. The real competitors in the “get your kids ahead …

Reading books about stuff
Thu, 17/02/11 – 13:33 | One Comment
Reading books about stuff

Though he’s finished all the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” books and the 10-volume “39 Clues” series – does that make it 390 Clues? – Big Guy is not much on stories. He has a …

Venting should not be socially accepted
Wed, 16/02/11 – 16:12 | Comments Off
Venting should not be socially accepted

I’ll admit to occasionally rolling my eyes at someone’s back after a frustrating conversation.
I’ll cop to longing for a voodoo doll so I could return the torture an annoying person was inflicting on me.
But those …

For once common sense wins out
Wed, 16/02/11 – 11:59 | Comments Off
For once common sense wins out

The flier about a children’s drama program coming to Fort Irwin couldn’t have done more to capture my attention if it’d been written in neon:
A week-long workshop capped by a performance of “The Wizard of …

You want to be sick? You’re finally getting your wish
Tue, 15/02/11 – 12:27 | Comments Off
You want to be sick? You’re finally getting your wish

Seriously, how was I supposed to know when Boots woke up crying that his butt hurt that he would be hanging his head over a garbage can an hour later?
The problem was, he’d been complaining …

Hoping for an end to the green pastures on the content farm
Mon, 14/02/11 – 19:21 | Comments Off
Hoping for an end to the green pastures on the content farm

The latest out of Mountain View is news good enough to make me consider switching to Chrome.
According to Forbes, Google is creating an extension to its browser that would let users block sites from their …

The most boring way on Earth to end up injured
Mon, 14/02/11 – 11:00 | 2 Comments
The most boring way on Earth to end up injured

In the past year in a half, Big Guy has had a cast on his arm, an Ace on his ankle and, now, an arm in a sling. The causes were monkey bars, tripping at …

The dentist – worse than driving down range
Fri, 11/02/11 – 11:58 | 2 Comments
The dentist – worse than driving down range

The surprising part is not that the Army is telling Dad he has to have his wisdom teeth removed – that’s pretty much pro forma, though I’m not sure why. A friend who used to …

Let’s freak out about learning another language
Thu, 10/02/11 – 17:25 | 4 Comments
Let’s freak out about learning another language

For years Russian was the only foreign language taught at the high school I eventually attended. To my knowledge, no one during that era grew up and defected to the Soviet Union.
I took three years …

Somehow twixt September and now, he’s turned into a soccer player
Thu, 10/02/11 – 11:36 | Comments Off
Somehow twixt September and now, he’s turned into a soccer player

I’ve always said that Boots would be better off in a dance class than on a sports team, because he’s turned every game he’s ever been involved in into a recital. If  I could find …

Helicopter, tigers and slackers, oh my!
Wed, 9/02/11 – 12:45 | Comments Off
Helicopter, tigers and slackers, oh my!

I am not a helicopter mom. In fact, once I get past freaking out at the amateurish nature of the guys’ “made it myself” art projects, I silently mock picture-perfect productions that scream parental micromanagement.
I …

If you want a race to the top, make sure kids start at the same place
Mon, 7/02/11 – 19:51 | One Comment
If you want a race to the top, make sure kids start at the same place

How can we promise to leave no child behind when we’re abandoning so many of them at the start?
And how can we hope to have a race to the top when some kids are a …

Yes, the airplane comes – eventually
Mon, 7/02/11 – 13:27 | 2 Comments
Yes, the airplane comes – eventually

There’s a reason the acronym AMC – for the military’s Air Mobility Command – is jokingly translated to “Airplane Might Come.”
There’s also a reason that a popular prayer asks, “God give me the serenity to …

If they hear it at home, it has no crediblity
Fri, 4/02/11 – 13:14 | Comments Off
If they hear it at home, it has no crediblity

Take your average mild-mannered mom wearing jeans and a T-shirt, stand her in her kitchen and have her talk to kids about the importance of dental hygiene. Chances are their eyes will glaze over like …

Just because the rant’s legal doesn’t make it right
Thu, 3/02/11 – 17:23 | One Comment
Just because the rant’s legal doesn’t make it right

It’s a classic case of the cliche about two wrongs not making a right. Make it three wrongs in this case.
A California high school student, who, according to Mashable was upset over his homework load, …

Bring it on, Monopoly
Thu, 3/02/11 – 12:38 | Comments Off
Bring it on, Monopoly

Boots rolled the dice and chuffed his tiny train along the Monopoly board, finishing on Reading Railroad. He beamed as he declined to buy it. “I’m going to save my money!” he smiled, waving two …

3 million reasons you should care about Net Neutrality
Wed, 2/02/11 – 16:39 | Comments Off
3 million reasons you should care about Net Neutrality

Net Neutrality. Are you asleep yet?
You’re not alone if the mere mention of the words makes you drowsy. A lot of people don’t even understand what it is, including a conservative blogger I ran across …

Bloody Mary? Oh, the horrors!
Wed, 2/02/11 – 10:02 | Comments Off
Bloody Mary? Oh, the horrors!

Big Guy will watch “GI Joe: Rise of the Cobra” repeatedly and not be bothered a bit. He didn’t flinch during any “Harry Potter” one through four, though he did think “The Goblet of Fire” …

Wanted: Guide dog for an elephant
Tue, 1/02/11 – 13:07 | Comments Off
Wanted: Guide dog for an elephant

The loveys tend to reappear when the guys are in the middle of uncertainty, such as the current chaos of knowing their dad will be back sometime sooner rather than later but not knowing exactly …

A soldier and his Samantha
Mon, 31/01/11 – 12:37 | Comments Off
A soldier and his Samantha

I have no idea who he is, but I’ve heard the voice before.
It’s the voice filled fatigue the likes of which those of us who haven’t been there can’t begin to imagine. It’s a voice …

Egg-free bread sticks
Sat, 29/01/11 – 8:37 | Comments Off
Egg-free bread sticks

Quick and easy bread sticks made with yeast? Indeed it is possible.
I was skeptical when I found the original recipe, but I also was craving garlic bread to go with spaghetti that night. We didn’t …

Letting them watch things I never thought I would
Fri, 28/01/11 – 13:24 | One Comment
Letting them watch things I never thought I would

“Too violent for kids, too childish for grownups,” is how Common Sense Media describes “GI Joe: Rise of the Cobra.”
“There are probably no more than 20 minutes when there is not violence,” reviewers at IMDb …

We can’t say we weren’t warned – but do we care?
Thu, 27/01/11 – 16:59 | Comments Off
We can’t say we weren’t warned – but do we care?

There are two types of warning labels in this world:

The types that tell us that what we’re about to do or consume will shorten our lives, harm our health or turn us into crazed killers. …

Creating a family of cereal killers
Thu, 27/01/11 – 12:14 | One Comment
Creating a family of cereal killers

Confiscate a kid’s candy and chuck his chips and what do you get?
A boy so desperate for sweets that he’ll eat Honey Kix for the sugar buzz. A lad so crazed for crunch that he’ll …

Amazing toddlers who can make their own breakfast!
Wed, 26/01/11 – 17:05 | Comments Off
Amazing toddlers who can make their own breakfast!

I am an awful, awful mom.
Just like thousands of other 2- to 5-year-olds worldwide, Boots cannot tie his shoes. He can’t make breakfast, though he can make quesadillas or Sunbutter and jelly sandwiches for lunch. …