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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Picky eaters and allergy-safe cooking — the two aren’t necessarily unrelated.

Girl Gone Wonk

From policy to politics, this rant’s for you.


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.

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Articles tagged with: working mom

Women are failing! Aw, geez, here we go again
Wednesday, 25 Jan, 2012 – 12:54 | Comments Off
Women are failing! Aw, geez, here we go again

I suppose there’s something to be said for the provocative headline, even if it’s inaccurate, if it gets your attention.
A recent headline from a random publicist trying to get a byline on my site certainly …

Keep your hands off my desk. Please.
Thursday, 24 Feb, 2011 – 12:09 | Comments Off
Keep your hands off my desk. Please.

I thought I was choosing wisely when I put my desk in front of a window in the family room when we moved here.
It’s usually a sunny spot until mid-afternoon, which helps wake me up …

I might actually miss them when they’re gone
Tuesday, 4 Jan, 2011 – 13:03 | Comments Off
I might actually miss them when they’re gone

I’m doing a little better at this work-at-home/parent-at-home gig now. This year, it took me until Day 17 of their 18-day Christmas break to cross over to losing-it loony.
That point came this morning, as I …

Whatever happened to the lazy days of summer?
Thursday, 13 May, 2010 – 13:25 | Comments Off
Whatever happened to the lazy days of summer?

It’s the same routine every month: Turn the calendar page over and hope for a less-hectic time of it.
But then the summer schedules started rolling out, which of course started clamoring. We want to go …

When your sick child really isn’t
Tuesday, 20 Apr, 2010 – 18:11 | Comments Off
When your sick child really isn’t

They’re probably not doing it because they’re out to get you – though it feels like it sometimes – but you’re right about the second part: Day cares do send kids home when they’re not …

30 hours a week of leisure time? It depends on the definition of ‘leisure’
Sunday, 17 Jan, 2010 – 20:33 | Comments Off
30 hours a week of leisure time? It depends on the definition of ‘leisure’

Brigid Shulte, you had me at “I have baked Valentine’s cupcakes until 2 a.m.” Except in my case, it was cookies and thanks to some quick calculations I was able to wrap it up by …

How to survive the holidays without killing your kids
Tuesday, 29 Dec, 2009 – 17:24 | 3 Comments
How to survive the holidays without killing your kids

Mommy, can I have water with ice?
Mommy, he won’t let me watch “Wubbzy.”
Mommy, he went “nah nah” at me and stuck out his tongue.
Mommy, can I have candy?
I hate the word “workflow,” largely because the …

Jury’s still out? What jury?
Tuesday, 3 Nov, 2009 – 15:02 | 2 Comments
Jury’s still out? What jury?

For years, decades even, we’ve heard the pious preaching: Children should stay at home with a parent instead of being palmed off on a day care. Except no one ever said “parent” – they …

Finding the time to sit on my fanny
Friday, 2 Oct, 2009 – 14:02 | 2 Comments
Finding the time to sit on my fanny

When I promised the guys we’d go to the pool every afternoon as soon as they finished homework – offer void and prohibited if Big Guy had acted up in school – I also told …

Life after journalism: A year later
Saturday, 5 Sep, 2009 – 12:32 | Comments Off
Life after journalism: A year later

We’re sitting outside a Starbucks on a sunny Saturday, Dad leafing through the local newspaper as I mutter while my WiFi connection flakes out again.
The first article he reads is a piece by a former …

Will Smith, you are hot!
Saturday, 13 Jun, 2009 – 8:47 | Comments Off
Will Smith, you are hot!

Sexy is the man who’s man enough to sidle up to his beloved and whisper the hottest words in the English language in her ear: “I’ll take care of the kids, honey.”
Works on me every …

Children suffer from mom’s stress – no kidding
Monday, 18 May, 2009 – 0:52 | Comments Off
Children suffer from mom’s stress – no kidding

If there’s an up side to a recent spate of studies looking at the impact stressed moms have on kids, it would be that researchers are starting to take seriously what’s been whispered at water …

It’s not going to get better. Deal with it
Thursday, 14 May, 2009 – 11:35 | Comments Off
It’s not going to get better. Deal with it

In March, I told myself life would get easier in April once Big Guy was out of school for the month and the morning rush was exchanged for an extra hour’s sleep.
In April, I told …

Love and marriage equals more housework
Thursday, 14 May, 2009 – 1:48 | Comments Off
Love and marriage equals more housework

From the file of statistics with no obvious explanation:
The average single woman and the average single man spend 20 hours combined doing housework. But once the “I do’s” are done, that total balloons to a …

Mom’s having a crappy day, kids. Here, have some Oreos
Wednesday, 8 Apr, 2009 – 0:51 | 4 Comments
Mom’s having a crappy day, kids. Here, have some Oreos

Frustrated with the world? Stressed by the times we live in? Fine, but don’t take it out on your kids by feeding them junk.
According to the latest research from the It’s All Mom’s Fault Department, …

Caught in the crossfire between saint and jerk
Tuesday, 16 Dec, 2008 – 0:38 | Comments Off
Caught in the crossfire between saint and jerk

Except for a nasty habit of laying people off by phone, Cleveland Plain Dealer Editor Susan Goldberg always has struck me as a savvy businesswoman.
I heard her speak at a luncheon for women in journalism …

9to5to9: Wondering where the other 21.3 hours go
Tuesday, 21 Oct, 2008 – 1:03 | Comments Off
9to5to9: Wondering where the other 21.3 hours go

Want to make your mama mad? Ask her what the hell she did all day.
Mine lives 3,000 miles away and not within striking distance, so I might risk it.
The question’s been on my mind since …

Stop! Focus! Um, what was I doing?
Sunday, 1 Jun, 2008 – 20:45 | Comments Off

Happy Meals, Korn or soccer? What the heck was I going to blog about tonight?

It’s the end of the weekend, and I’m reminiscing about weekend ends of old, when I would curl up in bed with a book and read myself to sleep. There’s a book bedside now, but it’s been there since April. But maybe if I can focus and finish up quickly, I’ll have time for a few chapters tonight.

OK, what’s left to be done?

Kids’ school blankets washed and dried: Check! Last week, I forgot the drying part until 5 Tuesday morning.
Lunches … hmm… what’s for lunch. Should have cooked tonight instead of sending Dad to McDonald’s. Ah, that’s right. I was going to write the Happy Meal blog.

STOP! Focus! Lunch!

OK, leftover roast

The new Mommy Track doesn’t leave the station for many
Sunday, 1 Jun, 2008 – 20:44 | Comments Off

I resented Alpha Mom as I scraped neon toothpaste off my dress today. Alpha Mom is too carefully coiffed to go to work looking like that.

She taunted to me as I jetted to SaveMart between work and soccer practice. Alpha Mom never would have forgotten her kid’s water at home. Her nanny would have made sure it was packed.

I cursed her as I rushed dinner to the table – grilled cheese and applesauce. Alpha Mom serves pork loin.

Alpha Mom mouses placidly at her computer, infant in arms and toddler playing blissfully behind her. I tried that during my second maternity leave. Little Guy wailed on one side and Big Guy turned my other arm into steak tartar as I tried to hear my boss over

Attack of the clutter beast
Sunday, 1 Jun, 2008 – 20:08 | Comments Off

It says something about my life that it’s taken more than a week for me to get to a recent parenting.com newsletter offering “our best clutter-control tips”.

My email box, you see, is in as bad a shape as the rest of my world. In neatly organized subfolders, I have 955 unread emails from the National Institute for Computer Assisted Reporting, 62 from the governor’s PR machine and 39 in a catch-all folder labeled “parenting.”

In my laundry area, I have two baskets of washed and neatly folded clothes, sorted by owner. It drives me nuts every morning, rifling through piles to find something for the kids to wear.

My dining room table is a crapalanche. I haven’t seen its surface since December, when it was briefly and gloriously cleared for a Christmas luncheon. It’s now populated with bag after bag of mail – items that will never be read, but need shredded before they’re tossed.

See? I know how to organize. I’m just lost as to what to do with all that organization. OK, I’m lying. I know exactly what to do with it. But I lack the will to finish the job.

The birthday pregame show
Sunday, 1 Jun, 2008 – 20:01 | Comments Off

Completely random thoughts from a fried brain:

I just spent the past hour using tweezers to put round sprinkle on cupcakes to make monster eyes. Can I still get a room at Stanislaus Behavioral Health Center tonight?

When did kids’ birthdays become multi-day festivities? I didn’t quite fall into the egciding extravaganza pit, but I’m teetering.

Big Guy’s big weekend kicks off tomorrow … er, make that today … with cupcakes and goody bags at school.

At least I kept them reasonable. Had about $1.25 per bag invested. And it’s still more affordable than buying the whole class pizza or an evil bounce house.

The monsters are pink. That’s what Big Guy ordered, and no amount of asking “are you sure you want pink?” was going to change that. At least the noses and mouths are blue, which I hope will convince Guy Protective Services that they don’t need to intervene.

Heche, Homer and the working mom
Sunday, 1 Jun, 2008 – 19:57 | Comments Off

Seems that I have some things in common with Anne Heche, although I’ve never run dazed and confused through rural Fresno County knocking on doors and pleading for help late at night.

Heche’s husband of 6 years, Coleman Laffoon, has filed for divorce. And it looks like Laffoon v. Heche is going to be anything other than a civil civil case. He wants $33,000 a month and joint custody. Presumably, his $6,000 a year premarital salary won’t keep him in the style to which he’s become accustomed.

So he’s letting it all hang out: allegations of poor parenting, disorganization and potty mouth.

Some accusations, if true, are troubling. The most serious: That she allowed their 5-year-old son, Homer, to ride without a car seat.

Most of the rest smacks of the standard stuff used to smear working moms, whether they make $81,000 an episode or $8 an hour.

Family leave, hair and heartburn for Mother’s Day
Sunday, 1 Jun, 2008 – 19:51 | Comments Off

If I had to be pregnant again, I’d want to be an Indian living in Sweden.

Babycenter.com posted a neat little “mothers around the world” feature this week, looking at traditions, old wives’ tales and family leave policies.

Quick conclusions: Sweden’s the place to be – 16 months’ leave at 80 percent pay after the birth of a baby. Canada’s not bad, either – a year at 50 percent.

And Indian’s the ethnicity to be. According to the article, for 45 days after a baby is born, the custom is for the mother to stay home while relatives care for her.

I could have used some of that after Big Guy was born. Labor wasn’t particularly hard, but Big Guy quickly developed colic. There were days on end when I barely saw my bed. Advice from my favorite Sanctimommy: “You should sleep when the baby does.” Well, what if the baby NEVER FRIGGIN’ SLEEPS?

Parting is such sweet sorry
Sunday, 1 Jun, 2008 – 19:38 | Comments Off

It started as a soft plea from the back seat halfway through the drive to day care this morning. “I don’t want to go school. I want to stay with you, Mommy.”

“I’d love to stay with you, babes, but vacation is over now.”

“I want to go home,” Big Guy replied, not angry, not insistent, but sad.

“I’d like to stay home, too, but I have to go to work,” I replied, striving for sympathetic yet upbeat.

“I want to go home,” he volleyed back.

The chorus looped endlessly — why did I ever think life would be better when he could talk and let me know what he was thinking?

By the time we hit downtown, genuine tears were flowing. We got out of the car, and his chest was heaving. A teacher had to peel Epoxy Boy off my shins so I could leave for the office.

And so it’s been for three straight days. Though Big Guy is quite the actor, this is no Made for Mama Drama. It’s real – it always is when it starts with a whimper instead of a roar.

Bad, bad day care kids!
Sunday, 1 Jun, 2008 – 19:27 | Comments Off

To children entering kindergarten in 2008, let me apologize now. Seems my heathen brat is going to disrupt your education for years to come.

Or so recent headlines would have you think.

“Poor behavior is linked to time in day care” screamed the New York Times. “Study: Day care can lead to bad behavior,” proclaimed the Salt Lake Tribune.

The chilling news makes me want to hang my head in abject shame for sending my children to a place that’s a cross between “The Jungle” and “Lord of the Flies.”

Problem: Once you look beyond the headline, the news isn’t chilling.