Mack
Sat, 4/09/10 – 10:57 | Comments Off
Mack

Editor’s note: Clearly, I am failing Big Guy educationally. He took his imaginary dog to an American League baseball game? Unacceptable. We must watch more National League ball before he starts to think the designated …

If you think school isn’t hard enough, go to kindergarten
Fri, 3/09/10 – 12:30 | Comments Off
If you think school isn’t hard enough, go to kindergarten

I’m confused. Genuinely perplexed, as opposed to the fake puzzlement I sometimes try to pull on the guys. As in, “I just don’t understand why you thought it was a good idea to cut gaping …

Leave them kids alone
Tue, 31/08/10 – 15:03 | 3 Comments
Leave them kids alone

Just as sure as someone’s going to be selling a box of crayons for a quarter every August, you can mark the annual bashing of American students on your calendar in the vicinity of Labor …

Find out now or worry til later? It’s a toss-up
Mon, 30/08/10 – 14:32 | Comments Off
Find out now or worry til later? It’s a toss-up

I’ve often wondered if my grandmother didn’t have it easier when my grandfather sailed off for World War II in the Pacific.
Back then, there were newsreels, newspapers and radio, but that was about it. Sure, …

What’s in Dad’s care package
Sun, 29/08/10 – 7:48 | Comments Off
What’s in Dad’s care package

This week’s theme: Bananas and Balboa.
They’re seemingly unrelated, but Dad loves both and I lucked out on both counts.
Trapped with the guys in one of the unrelenting downpours that marked our trip back east, we …

Egg-free blueberry coffee cake
Sat, 28/08/10 – 8:20 | Comments Off
Egg-free blueberry coffee cake

I know I have a blueberry coffee cake recipe … um, somewhere. Where the heck did it go? Aw, never mind. I’ll just Google.
I’m glad I did, because the new one I conjured up went …

For some of us, digital IS the down time
Fri, 27/08/10 – 14:34 | Comments Off
For some of us, digital IS the down time

I have a new nightly routine of late, mainly because the old one wasn’t working.
Use to be, I’d tuck the guys in and then toss fitfully in an attempt to doze off. I’d eventually give …

Determination
Thu, 26/08/10 – 13:04 | Comments Off
Determination

How can the kid who can’t find his shoes in the morning lock his eyes onto a soccer ball as if they were guided by a laser?
Why is it that the boy who routinely turns …

YES, he finally eats. Everything in sight
Wed, 25/08/10 – 14:55 | Comments Off
YES, he finally eats. Everything in sight

I’m not sure if Big Guy was being cunning or air-headed when he came to the Book Fair room where I was volunteering at school earlier this week and said he’s lost his lunchbox. “I …

Boots and the really cool rainbow pointer
Tue, 24/08/10 – 14:45 | Comments Off
Boots and the really cool rainbow pointer

Boots came home excited to show me what he’d bought at school, and I was excited, too. I’d wondered all day what he would pick.
“Do they have Thomas books?” he’d asked that morning.
“I didn’t notice, …

Big Guy goes back to Elmo’s World
Mon, 23/08/10 – 15:29 | Comments Off
Big Guy goes back to Elmo’s World

When Big Guy was a toddler Elmo always was there for him – on his second birthday cake, on his Halloween costumes, on “Sesame Street” as Mommy fed That Baby Who Ruined His Life.
In recent …

What’s in Dad’s care package
Sun, 22/08/10 – 8:40 | Comments Off

We sent this one while we were on vacation and, as a result, there’s now a chihuahua living in Afghanistan. A stuffed one, left over from the “Yo Quiero Taco Bell” days.
I have no idea …

Egg-free brownie muffins
Sat, 21/08/10 – 8:26 | Comments Off
Egg-free brownie muffins

Sometimes it really is this easy.
Aside from the soda-pop cake, though, it’s usually not this easy in the world of egg-free baking. That’s why I eyed the recipe my mom had clipped from a magazine …

The cross-country science project fail
Fri, 20/08/10 – 15:16 | Comments Off
The cross-country science project fail

Boots wanted to grow apples – “nice, fresh apples, but for the people, not the deer,” he explained, eyeing the trail of half-eaten fruit the previous night’s marauders had scattered across his pawpaw’s yard.
Never mind …

Karate is for boys? Au contraire!
Thu, 19/08/10 – 13:35 | Comments Off
Karate is for boys? Au contraire!

So did you learn anything during sparring today, I asked Big Guy after karate class.
“No, not really,” Big Guy replied.
He was lying through his mouth guard.
He’d gone up against The Girl again. The Girl who …

Because it’s never too early to plan for college
Wed, 18/08/10 – 13:47 | Comments Off
Because it’s never too early to plan for college

He’s been in kindergarten less than three weeks but Boots already has his college choices narrowed to two:  California State University, Stanislaus or West Virginia University.
The first is a small college that was practically in …

Big boys ride the bus
Tue, 17/08/10 – 14:53 | Comments Off
Big boys ride the bus

He trundled to the bus stop less than a football field’s length from our back door, waddling slightly from the balk of a backpack a tad to big for him. He clutched a sheath of …

The 10,000 mile guilt trip
Mon, 16/08/10 – 15:21 | 2 Comments
The 10,000 mile guilt trip

Except for Boots’ Sisyphusian insistence on rebuilding his sand castle in the same spot where the tide had washed it away just seconds earlier, Santa Monica was a great time.
The air was warm, but not …

Sometimes, he’s still my little boy
Thu, 5/08/10 – 14:16 | One Comment
Sometimes, he’s still my little boy

He hates “Wonder Pets” but will concede to occasionally watching “Max and Ruby.” He admires Max’s sneaky ways and rails that Ruby is a control freak, which is ironic given that he’s one of the …

Surviving typhoid and merry-go-rounds
Wed, 4/08/10 – 12:14 | 2 Comments
Surviving typhoid and merry-go-rounds

We’ve been away from the water for more than three weeks now, which is a relief because the incubation period for typhoid fever is 10 to 20 days.
Never mind that there are only about 400 …

What’s wrong with this picture?
Tue, 3/08/10 – 14:46 | Comments Off
What’s wrong with this picture?

I was standing by the pool with my camera Sunday when a voice drew me away from Big Guy’s birthday festivities.
“Excuse me,” she said. “But just who are you taking pictures of?”
“My kids,” I replied.
“Well, …

Back to school shopping, Army style
Mon, 2/08/10 – 11:45 | Comments Off
Back to school shopping, Army style

New crayons are cool, and being promoted to a big-kid notebook was the bomb for Big Guy.
But the big buzz of back-to-school shopping was the new buzz cuts and the new Army gear. Yes, now …

What’s in Dad’s care package
Sun, 25/07/10 – 9:00 | Comments Off
What’s in Dad’s care package

I thought I’d be about three years past buying baby wipes at this point, but not so.
At home, they still go everywhere with us. They work far better than hand santizer for cleaning up on …

What’s in Dad’s care package
Sun, 18/07/10 – 8:53 | Comments Off
What’s in Dad’s care package

If you can’t be at the birthday, the birthday will come to you.
That was Boots’ reasoning behind this week’s care package, though I did talk him out of sending Dad a piece of his birthday …

What’s in Dad’s care package
Sun, 11/07/10 – 9:27 | 2 Comments
What’s in Dad’s care package

Dad claims he can’t get to sleep without background noise, though snoring must qualify or else he would have been in a worse-than-normal state of chronic deprivation during basic training.
It’s led to many marital disputes …

Heaven help me, we’ve entered the Hot Wheels era
Thu, 8/07/10 – 10:13 | One Comment
Heaven help me, we’ve entered the Hot Wheels era

Just when I thought three tubs of tank engine track was as bad as it was going to get, along comes the next menace: Hot Wheels.
It’s not that we’ve never had Hot Wheels – the …

Why Shyamalan’s right, but wrong, about Airbender casting
Wed, 7/07/10 – 11:39 | Comments Off
Why Shyamalan’s right, but wrong, about Airbender casting

Shopping for a bathing suit is bad enough, but it becomes virtually impossible when a kid wearing pale-yellow paints and has an arrow eye-linered onto a freshly shaved scalp pops around the corner.
“Hey, guys, look! …

Overpack and hope for the best
Tue, 6/07/10 – 10:14 | One Comment
Overpack and hope for the best

Coloring books: New and unsullied, accompanied by a fresh pack of crayons. Check.
MP3 players: Charged, with new songs loaded. Check.
Snacks: Enough to cover the midnight munchies plus breakfast the next day because the chances are …