Look out, guys! It appears that Vapor Rub works
Tue, 23/11/10 – 18:29 | Comments Off
Look out, guys! It appears that Vapor Rub works

It was near the top of my pre-mommy list of things I’d never do.
I’d never yell at the kids. I’d never say, “because I’m the mom, and I said so.” And I’d never make them …

Are you ready for some football?
Tue, 23/11/10 – 14:34 | Comments Off
Are you ready for some football?

So remember a couple of years ago when I said that I don’t care what the guys do as long as they keep trying to be the best they can be?
I lied. You probably figured …

And then the roof falls in
Mon, 22/11/10 – 14:39 | Comments Off
And then the roof falls in

You hear the stories about women blasting the water in the shower to hide their weeping, and you think it won’t happen to you. You’re strong. You’re resilient. You can handle this.
And for months on …

Raise Tricare co-pays? Give us something to pay for first
Sun, 21/11/10 – 20:03 | One Comment
Raise Tricare co-pays? Give us something to pay for first

Everyone loves to look at the military’s health insurance with envy. It’s free! They don’t pay an arm and a leg like civilians do!
And when the budget recommendations come, implementing Tricare premiums, deductibles or co-pays …

Another egg-free pumpkin bread
Sat, 20/11/10 – 7:35 | Comments Off
Another egg-free pumpkin bread

Autumn always makes me think of pumpkin, which in turn makes me think of my husband. And that’s why I broke my chief law of egg-free baking, the one that says “once you have an …

Finding a way to help Boots find his way in the world
Fri, 19/11/10 – 15:11 | Comments Off
Finding a way to help Boots find his way in the world

“It’s a pickle,” Boots said when he came home from school after Mark Kistler’s Imagination Station assembly that promises to teach kids to draw in 3D. It’s no lie either. Even Big Guy’s skills had …

A SWAT for an offer that’s really not
Thu, 18/11/10 – 19:09 | Comments Off
A SWAT for an offer that’s really not

I know drugstores.com. Know it well, in fact, since moving to Fort Irwin, a place where even over-the-counter kids medications can be hard to come by.
Several times a year I load up the cybercart with …

Adding to our asthma vocabulary
Thu, 18/11/10 – 12:03 | One Comment
Adding to our asthma vocabulary

It’s been a while – nearly three years, in fact – since Big Guy has had a major asthma episode. He’s done well, thrived even, despite a change in primary doctor and specialist that had …

The freedom to eat pizza – (almost) any time and any place
Mon, 15/11/10 – 14:22 | 4 Comments
The freedom to eat pizza – (almost) any time and any place

We didn’t really have time to stop, and if we did Big Guy would miss his karate class. Still, a promise is a promise, so I let him make the call.
“Yes, yes, YES! Momma, I …

Teeth-cleaning gum? I want it NOW
Fri, 12/11/10 – 12:47 | 2 Comments
Teeth-cleaning gum? I want it NOW

Teeth-cleaning gum? Oh my God, is this ever the answer to my prayers.
It sounds almost too good to be true and I feared at first that it might be because most Google paths lead back …

A letter to a friend – and to friends I don’t know yet
Thu, 11/11/10 – 11:59 | Comments Off
A letter to a friend – and to friends I don’t know yet

Hey, lady!
Let me start with an apology. I’m so sorry I’ve been “too busy” to get together with you lately. Sure, I have the guys’ sports schedules and my volunteer and paid work, but that’s …

Suddenly, Bear comes back
Wed, 10/11/10 – 11:34 | Comments Off
Suddenly, Bear comes back

It’s hard to keep track of the loveys without a scorecard these days.
There’s the always-present El – er, make that the “mostly present” El. Boots’ beloved but tattered friend did leave a few weeks ago …

Scary stats: Kids spend more time with TV than with preschool
Tue, 9/11/10 – 20:13 | One Comment
Scary stats: Kids spend more time with TV than with preschool

I don’t believe much in child-rearing absolutes, except that I absolutely banned Big Guy from watching TV before he was 2.
I am absolutely certain that ban was ignored. Though the baby sitter repeatedly denied it, …

I need a Knaus in my house
Tue, 9/11/10 – 11:54 | Comments Off
I need a Knaus in my house

Just when I thought Kevin Lehman, who advises that you sometimes “pull the rug out and let the little buzzards tumble,” was the ultimate in reality discipline then along comes someone who makes Lehman look …

Dad’s car, my deployment albatross
Mon, 8/11/10 – 12:06 | Comments Off
Dad’s car, my deployment albatross

Either Dad has put people on commission or the official at the guys’ basketball games this weekend felt morally obligated to look after our automotive welfare.
“How long’s it been since you started your husband’s car?” …

There is no good time to do homework
Fri, 5/11/10 – 13:36 | Comments Off
There is no good time to do homework

We’ve tried it first thing after school, hoping that will help keep his head in the game.
We’ve tried it later in the afternoon, hoping that giving him a chance to blow off steam before settling …

Thanks for the memories, Sparky
Thu, 4/11/10 – 16:22 | Comments Off
Thanks for the memories, Sparky

He was the greatest handler of egos ever.
He was an innovator whose weird ways changed his profession.
He was the poster child for upper management ineptitude.
Everything I ever needed to know about management I learned from …

Battling obesity one Happy Meal at a time
Thu, 4/11/10 – 13:13 | 2 Comments
Battling obesity one Happy Meal at a time

Four things my kids know about marketing and commercials:

Fruit snacks are neither fruit nor snacks.
Blowing up a juice bag and stomping on it won’t launch you into the air, though they have tried.
The toy is …

Moderate the Internet? Best of luck on that one
Tue, 2/11/10 – 21:25 | Comments Off
Moderate the Internet? Best of luck on that one

I’ve never tried to moderate the entire Internet, though I once took a stab at sorting out spats on one small corner of it.
My days were filled with complaints about “inaccurate opinions,” and my nights …

When a kid outgrows his reputation
Tue, 2/11/10 – 13:40 | 2 Comments
When a kid outgrows his reputation

Sometimes it’s hard to see your kids as the rest of the world does. Once in a while, you’re lucky enough to have someone come along and open your eyes.
For me it was a substitute …

No wonder we’re confused about education reform
Mon, 1/11/10 – 22:02 | Comments Off
No wonder we’re confused about education reform

Today’s news reminded me of the joke we used to rib the mathematically inclined with during my college days: Yesterday I didn’t know what an engineer was. Today I are one.
In this corner, we have …

Army Strong – but what does it mean?
Mon, 1/11/10 – 13:31 | Comments Off
Army Strong – but what does it mean?

Boots was bent on sniveling his way through the airport the night we went to pick up Dad for the start of R&R when I decided I’d heard enough.
“I know you’re tired, babes. But you …

Because pumpkin guts is a man’s work
Sat, 30/10/10 – 11:26 | Comments Off
Because pumpkin guts is a man’s work

I hadn’t planned on carving a pumpkin this year. I just wasn’t up to it.
And no, this isn’t another one of those grating “waah, he’s not here on special days” whines, though pumpkin carving is …

When mom goes for glam instead of gore
Fri, 29/10/10 – 14:16 | Comments Off
When mom goes for glam instead of gore

Big Guy couldn’t conceal his disdain when he ripped open the package that had just landed on the front stoop.
“What’s this?” he asked in a tone usually reserved for finding dog poo on his shoes.
“It’s …

A SWAT for sucking the fun out of everything
Thu, 28/10/10 – 21:54 | Comments Off
A SWAT for sucking the fun out of everything

I was about Big Guy’s age when apples again became the forbidden fruit.
I’m not sure where it happened, but I can guarantee you it wasn’t  in our town. I didn’t spend my childhood in Mayberry, …

The age of the defiant “why”
Thu, 28/10/10 – 12:45 | Comments Off
The age of the defiant “why”

Used to be, the guys’ “whys” were mainly sweet, innocent and curious.
“Why isn’t the moon cut?” Big Guy would ask on the nights that it was full. When you think about it,the moon is “cut” …

Class-size reduction does work. Phonics too!
Wed, 27/10/10 – 22:33 | Comments Off
Class-size reduction does work. Phonics too!

The guys’ school had a problem at the beginning of the year, and we’re lucky that the district had the money to solve it.
Boots’ kindergarten class the first week of school had 27 kids. So …

Cure for insomnia? Let me sleep on that
Wed, 27/10/10 – 13:53 | Comments Off
Cure for insomnia? Let me sleep on that

The final alarm starts going off at 5:30, but it takes me another hour to drag, bleary-eyed, out of bed.
It’s my third notice. Most mornings Alarms Nos. 1 and 2 barely register when they go …