Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Bunny became a woman today. She didn't notice that the toilet seat was left in the up position by her brother and sat in the bowl.

Sometimes it's hard to be a woman.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Disciplining Creativity

Bunny ate Cheerios but did not finish all of the milk in the bowl. As I was unloading the dishwasher as I do every morning in the time between my finishing breakfast and their being done, when I heard stirring.

Bunny was stirring her milk with her spoon, then dunked her hands in the bowl and finger painted the table.

What to do?

I threw a towel on the table and told her to clean up when she finished.

Is that teaching her that it's okay to play with her food? Or is it teaching her that food can be wasted? Or did I demonstrate patience and compassion in allowing her to follow her creativity? Perhaps I missed an opportunity to teach her that such behavior is not usual but that I was going to make an exception.

I suppose that I discuss discipline and behavior so much because it weighs heavily on my mind. It is i. These times that I feel the least sure of myself as a parent. We all know to teach kids about stair and street safety, but how does it come across? Are we yelling when we should be calm and sweet when we should be harsh?

In the end, we're going to make lots of mistakes. We will screw our kids up in some ways and make them stronger in others. Hopefully we do a good enough job so they don't go postal one day, screaming, "You never let me play with my milk!!!"

Friday, August 24, 2012

Homemaker Tip - Food Storage

When storing any food in plastic containers (I prefer Snapware) I have begun putting a folded paper towel at the bottom.

One thing it does is control the condensation and regulate the humidity within the container. It also prevents fruit from soaking in it's own juice. I believe the juice breaks the solids down.

Example: i chopped a cantaloupe two days ago and put it in a container with a paper towel at the bottom. Not only is the bottom free of sticky syrup, but the fruit has remained firm and retained its taste.

I do so with chicken nuggets that have been cooked and it keeps them from getting soggy and sticking together. I do it with raw chicken and with cooked bacon.

Try it sometime and you'll find that your prepared food lasts longer and tastes better.

Friday, August 17, 2012


Cousin O passed along this tidbit of wisdom :
You're only as happy as your least happy child.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

No fun at all

My friend shared this story with me:

We were on our way to PJ's birthday party. James asked, "Where are we going?"
"We're going to PJ's birthday party."
"Are there jumpy houses?"
"No," I replied, "It's a restaurant."
"Restaurants aren't fun for kids!"

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A little fun

Bunny, please be quiet
But Mom, I'm just being silly.
You can be silly, but when you're loud it gives Mommy immense headaches.
But it gives me a little fun.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Costco Outing

If I recall correctly, I went in to Costco to buy chicken nuggets and pick up my contact lenses. Oh, yeah, we need turkey. Oh, yeah, I need plastic wrap. Oh, yeah, we need bacon. Oh, yeah, we need broccoli.

In the checkout line, I decided to get some frozen yogurt at the concession stand as the kids had behaved reasonably well during our shopping excursion that included two previous stops.

So we were standing in line and JD asked for pizza and a glass of water. Oh, all right.

The concessions people gave us a giant piece of pizza that required dividing. After sitting down, I gave Bunny the large cup of frozen yogurt (they only have one size - Costco size) and set out to make the pizza more able to be handled by a five-year-old. As I began to cut the pizza, JD picked up the water, and on the way to his mouth, dropped it in his lap. Yikes. I grabbed a pile of napkins and dried him off. No big deal. As I finished cleaning him up, I looked over at Bunny. She had apparently taken a huge scoop of frozen yogurt which led to slowly melting chocolate frozen yogurt drip-drip-dripping on her sea green skirt. Ugh.

Finally, they were cleaned up and eating. As they were finishing, I decided to alert the employees that there was a pool of water on the concrete floor under our table where JD had spilled. That's when Bunny came running up to me to say she had to go potty. When she comes to get me, that means it's time to go.

I quickly cleaned up and we headed to the bathroom. JD headed to the urinal and I took Bunny to the stall. She quickly pooped (she's quick,) then yelled, "Daddy, I stink! STINK!" Over and over again. I glanced over the stall walls (if you've forgotten or didn't know, I'm 6'5".) There were a couple of guys in the bathroom chuckling a bit.

So I cleaned her tush and exited the stall to find JD with his shorts and underwear dropped to the floor, his butt just hanging out. I just looked up and laughed, got their hands washed and headed home.

Totally Emotional Recall

July 30th was my parents' wedding anniversary. Except that my Dad died in 2004 and my Mom remarried in 2007. But it would have been 46 years.

I miss my father terribly. He was a considerable influence on my life. My parents' marriage was a considerable influence on my life. They had what many considered to be an ideal marriage.

I do not know whether they would have considered themselves that, as few of us see ourselves as others see us. (That is the burden of celebrity.) What I do know is that they were in love and worked hard to make their love persevere.

But now he is gone from my life in a material way. I do not have my "parents." How fortunate for me that the memories of my father are so positive and full of examples that help guide decisions.

When I miss him most, when I feel closest to him, I am very emotional and there is usually a good deal of crying involved. Why crying and sadness are necessary, I do not know. Perhaps that is an immaturity; in time, I may find that I can feel extreme joy or laughter and feel the same closeness.

In fact, it is those times when I am crying that I not only feel close, but feel as though he is in my presence.

I am learning to say, "I wish Dad was here to see this," or, "Dad would have loved this," out loud more often. It's something that I have not done until recently, and he died almost eight years ago. Last week, Wife and I went to a jazz club. Or when I cook something particularly good or eat something wonderful and spicy. I wish Dad was there.

I will spare you my thoughts on the afterlife and whether or not I think that he's always with me. We all have our own definitions and perceptions. So much so, that putting my feelings on that subject into a short paragraph would not provide a proper definition.

What I will say is that it makes me feel better to make a regular effort to remember Dad. I need to tell my kids stories about my Dad more often. I can even talk aloud to him, as if he were there with me, my consigliere. On the other hand. failing to recall his words and actions would equal discarding my math or reading education. It would be tragic to be around a person with so much wisdom and fail to recall it for practical use.