November 29, 2009

Little Red awoke before his brother this morning. I heard his door creak open, and then mine, and finally he approached my bedside. I kept my eyes closed the whole time; it’s a ritual I do with both boys, letting them think they’re waking me up. Somehow being awake with my eyes closed for the whole 35 seconds or so that it takes to walk down the hall helps me wake easier.  The boys certainly love feeling that they’re surprising me at my bedside.

tap tap tap

He tapped my arm and said, “I’m a five year old today.”  He used to say “Gup, Mummy, gup!”

Downstairs I decided to warm up Boy Blue, who is two, to the idea that today will be mostly about his brother. “Five years ago today I was in the hospital having Reed. Aren’t we lucky that he came to our family? Isn’t that exciting that today is his birthday?”

Little Red approached his brother and said, “even more exciting than that, I get to open my presents today!”


From the Kitchen

November 20, 2009


Does it get any better than homemade Southern-style fried chicken?  Methinks perhaps not.  Don’t worry, I don’t wonder why I’m not skinny.

I Remember

November 16, 2009

I did not post on Remembrance Day, but I remembered.  I sent Little Red to school the day before with one of my childhood poppies pinned to his shirt.  I knew the chances were high that it would not survive the day, and I was ready for that sacrifice; the more important thing was that I was teaching him that we do not forget.

He was still wearing it when I picked him up at the end of school.  He didn’t completely remember why, but I still considered it a win.  He is only four.

The following day, a holiday, I crocheted a couple of poppies and passed them, along with a copy of In Flanders’ Fields, to the two women I would see that day — two women I love dearly and I knew would understand my reverence for the day.  I had my moment of silence in the Dentist’s chair, a strange place for such a sacred event, but was able to talk with the dentist about the poppy and it’s significance.  I achieved deep relaxation in that chair — the most relaxed I have felt in a long time, and was grateful for both the holiday and the appointment which forced me to take a few moments to think.

It will always be a sacred day for me.  It may not be so in the greater population, but I can instill reverence for the day in my children, and carry the tradition along.  When they are older, I will teach them of my Grandad, and my Great-Grandad, and the legacy they have left for us.  This year, a poppy will suffice.

True Confessions.

November 16, 2009

Let me begin by saying that while I will never win an award for Homemaker of the Year, my place is far from a pig sty. The toys are frequently strewn around during the day but we make it a point to pick up nightly (as much as possible) and I keep the kitchen and bathrooms sanitary.

I am, however, humbled and embarassed by the weekend.

We’ve had a problem every once in a while of our smoke alarm going off in 10-15 second bursts for no reason. Not only is it an unnecessary intrusion on our day, but I could do without the jolt of adrenaline to my heart, and it terrorizes Boy Blue. After several weeks of peace we were rudely interrupted on Saturday morning at 5 am with the same bursts, every 2-3 minutes for over an hour. Needless to say, we were not amused! I gathered the presence of mind to do a little research online and discovered that while the culprit could be anything from an old unit (it is old) to spiders, to humidity, to HAM radios, it could just as easily be dust (in the five years we’ve lived here I’ve never once dusted, vacuumed, or otherwise cleaned the unit.) I sent Paul upstairs with one of those cans of air we use on the computer, and he solved the problem instantly. Wonderful!

Yesterday morning the problem with my computer monitor that I had been ignoring in hopes it’d go away came to a head. Paul’s solution? A little bit of air. You guessed it — it worked. We’ll probably still have to buy a new monitor (because –YES– the warranty just expired) but as long as I can dust the back and power down and wait a couple of minutes every time I log in but eventually get the screen to work, then that’s good.

Word to the wise, my friends, when it doubt, DUST!

Don’t Miss This One

November 12, 2009

Do you know about Little Bird Tales? It’s only the coolest way to highlight your child’s voice and artistry. You simply upload his artwork, record his voice, and voila! It’s sooooo cool. Seriously.

Well, from now through December 25th Little Bird Tales is offering to donate 50% of your subscription costs to our school when you use coupon code: fundfranklin! What’s that? A great deal on a cool product, aaaaaaaand half of your money goes straight to an amazingly innovative public school?  (I don’t know if you know or not, but public schools in California are terribly underfunded.) 

I know what my children’s grandparents (and my own grandparents) will be getting every birthday, Christmas, and other gift-giving event next year — the joy of my children’s voices and pictures.

To subscribe, go to and click on “Sign Up Today”, then click on the “use coupon” button and verify ‘fundfranklin’.  This code can be used by anyone, so pass it on to friends and family who might be interested. It’s a fun, easy way to create unique and “green” Holiday cards and share the year’s highlights with friends and family! Record your kids singing their favorite holiday song or narrating a story and send to it everyone!

Testing Limits

November 9, 2009

Little Red (as the Screaming Banshee): If you say a bad word, I will eat you up!

Boy Blue (as Mack): BAD WORD!!!

He Shouldn’t Know How Cute That Is

November 8, 2009

Always the sign of a fun time, on Saturday night when Paul and I showed up at the pajama party to pick up the boys, they both said, “NO!!!” when they saw us. After we visited with the other parents we decided to get serious about leaving.

Boy Blue politely said, “no thank you” and continued playing with the trains. We brought his shoes and sweater to him, at which point he switched into two-year old gear, and started flailing and screaming, “I’m fighting! I’m fighting!”