Category Archives: Kids


Yesterday, Jack and I were working on an elaborate lego project when he broke from our format.  The format is this: I sort the legos by color and hand him the pieces required for each page.  He puts them together.  It’s kind of tortuous and unsatisfying, but we like our together time.  When it came to the lego guys, he just went crazy and put on a bunch of heads without putting the backpacks between the heads and the bodies.   The heads can be hard to seperate so after one attempt he tilted hid head towards the heavens and moaned, “AGONY!”  I thought, “that sounds vaguely familiar.”  He tried to get the head off again and said, “Actually, it’s more like this…” and this time he pretended to rip his shirt off and sang, “Agony…!”  I thought, “is he doing that Chris Pine scene from Into the Woods?” 

We saw Into the Woods during Christmas break last year, and after the movie our collective family review consisted of a shrug and a “huh” and a “I guess I didn’t know that was a musical.” And then we never spoke of it again.

As I was thinking back to the movie almost a year ago, Jack was removing the globe and some other various toys from the chair in his room so he could put one foot up on it and do a deep lunge and really belt it out, “Actually it’s more like this… AGONY!!!!!”

In the meantime I had removed the lego heads so he was free to get back to building.  But since we had had this bonding time, (that I subsequently mined for blog material, and because I don’t want to forget this afternoon) time had passed and I needed to make dinner.  I went upstairs and started cooking and when dinner was ready, Jack brought his lego project upstairs and major progress had been made.  I said, “How did you get all that done?!?!?!”  He said, “I followed the instructions? You didn’t know that I could do that?”

No, I did not.

So it should come as no surprise that this morning I said, “Remember when I threatened to not micromanage you all morning and if you get to school late, you will just have to get a tardy?  Today’s the day.  Get ready and we will leave when you are ready to go.  Good luck.”

He was ready on time with no micromanaging.

On the way to school I said, “Why do you let me do so much for you if you are capable of doing it yourself?”

He said, “Because I’m lazy?”  (To the tune of Agony.)

Sigh, I can’t blame him because I have been making his promise to always be my baby for the last five years.  But it seems like my baby is all grown up.



Planning Ahead For The Perseids

I’d like you to think that I must be the most organized amateur stargazer/parent-educater/camper out there, because I have spent the last week and a half planning ahead for next year’s Perseid  meteor shower.  It’s 50 weeks away people, haven’t you started planning?!?!  

What actually happened, was that part of the “Last Week At Home With Mom End of Summer Extravaganza” included a spontaneous mid week camping trip to see the meteor shower.  By spontaneous, I mean that I had the idea about a week in advance but I did not make a reservation, or any concrete plans, or even pack until 10 minutes before we left.  Would we even be able to see the meteor shower from our campsite, or if would we be surrounded by tall trees?  I figured with the lake there, we could find a spot on the south side of the lake for some sort of view.   Would we need a reservation in the middle of the week?  I was sure that there would be spots if we left right after Lukes’s doctors appointment at 11:30 am / piano lessons at 3:00 / short track races at 5:00.  Poor Jack competed in the end of short track season short track costume contest and managed not to die of heat exaustion only to be told that even though he was the only person there in a costume, the prizes wouldn’t be awarded until hours later.  (We were so relived to see a pic from later of an adult rider in a very elaborate and fancy costume.)  

We left immediately after short track and stopped for dinner in Nederland.  I told Jack he could pick out whatever breakfast cereal he wanted as a costume contest consolation prize, so after dinner and a trip the the grocery store  we were back on the road and headed for an 8:30 pm arrival time at Brainard Lake.  No campsites!!

No problem I thought, Camp Dick is right around here we’ll see if there are spots available there.  But instead, I started driving to Rainbow Lakes.  It was a long, narrow, bumpy, twisty road, and it was starting to get dark. Jack started to worry about cannibals because of a fantastic and true campfire story that I like to tell about the time we were almost eaten by cannibals.  Once we finally got to the sign that said, “Rainbow Lakes 1.8 miles” I remembered where we were and that we needed a high clearance vehicle to make it the rest of the way.  I know Dave loves me, but I also know that if I wreck the van, our relationship is over.  Still, I thought for a minute about whether we should keep going.  The giant lake in front of us , and the end of my marriage helped me decide to turn around.  Even though the boys offered to walk through the lake to check the depth, it didn’t seem like a good idea in the dark, with cannibals potentially lurking about.

We turned around and started driving back towards home, which, unfortunately was the opposite direction from Camp Dick.  I found a spot where my phone worked and pulled over to call Dave.  While I was talking to him a car pulled over and a guy got out with a giant flashlight and walked slowly over to us.  Slowly enough for Jack to let out a frenzied, “CANNIBAL,CANNIBAL, CANNIBAL!”  I rolled down the window and said, “We’re fine, thanks.”  And he said, with derision, “Then turn on your hazards.”  I thought that was weird because the reason I didn’t turn on my hazards was that I didn’t need anyone to come help me.  (I was in a pull out, way to the side, off the road.)  Anywho, I turned on my hazards and listened to Dave’s suggestions of where there was open camping in Nederland, and I was almost sold on the idea until he said, “Just don’t camp near any herion addicts.  Or, I guess, meth addicts would be worse.”

We had forgotten 3 things on this trip: Pillows, flashlights, and the dog.  We decided we could live without pillows, hoped maybe the flashlights were in there somewhere, and thought not having the dog was actually going to simplify things.  But then I wished she was there to protects us from the cannibals.

Long story short (too late) we went home. 

I woke the boys up at 3:00 am and we went to the park with a blanket and some smore’s goldfish and watched the meteor shower while we tried to stay warm and comfortable on the sidewalk.  

It’s an official “family memory now” but I think I can do a better job next year.

My Poor Deprived Children

The boys learned last week that one of their friends has an assigned night for cooking the family meal.  This piece of information was met with the wailing and gnashing of teeth and “whyyyy don’t you ever let us cook?”

I meanly cook dinner every night and never let them do it, like the evil mom that I am.  Dave helps.   I don’t know how to cook meat really, so Dave helps a lot.

But this week we have have been trying out some kid-cooked meals.  Last night Jack made homemade mac and cheese, a recipe adapted slightly from a Cook Smarts meal plan.  We had it with leftover grilled pork tenderloin and a salad.  So good.  It was a little complicated and I had to help a lot, but Jack did a pretty good job.  He said he was going to make buttered noodles for his meal so this was a step up.  And now he can make a roux.   (Not really.)  Luke made miso soup this evening, which we paired with grilled pork chops and cucumbers in an asian style dressing.  He thought his contribution was too easy, but he did it by himself while I was rollerblading up and down the street.  (A story for another day.)

So things are going well now that I am not selfishly hoarding all the cooking to myself.