Wednesday, July 14, 2010


We are busy packing up for the beach-well, I am anyway. My kids are busy going through all of the stuff I am trying to pack up for our Outer Banks excursion, actually little A is the unpacker. She sees clothes and wants to either put them all on or carry them around the house to various locations.

Every summer when I pack, I think back when my oldest was about 4 and his little brother 2. We were sharing a house with two other families-tons of kids, lots of drinks. J was asked to pack up toys that he wanted to bring on vacation. He dutifully collected a truckload and promptly shoved them in his super hero of the day bag (whatever "guy" he was into back then), We loaded up the car. Well, my husband did because he has this methodical, logical, spatial thing about him and headed to the Outer Banks. We got there, weary and ready to drop and so we did. J dropping his bag onto the beach house floor, PLUNK and out spills all of his brother's toys (ones deemed suitable enough for a 4 year old anyway). Oh, I said, "How sweet, he packed for his brother." instantly realizing that in no way had he done that (it would have moved planets out of their orbits, trust me). He simply had packed his brother's toys so as not to have to share or lose any of his own. Brilliance? Deviance? Just plain J. We'll see what happens this year. It hasn't repeated itself. But if you feel something out of line, your inner compass tilted it just may be that he actually did HELP his brother pack this year.

1.Silly bands have taken over.
2.Jumping at the farm.
4.Baby praying mantis
5.4th of July cake (I didn't make it-no credit for me)

Thursday, July 08, 2010


I grew up at the neighborhood pool. Learned how to swim, how to make new friends with diving pennies, enjoyed the smell of chlorine on my skin and in my hair. I taught swimming when I was 17 and I was good at it. I coached swimming too and I did all of this for over 10 years......and alas my kids do not know how to swim. It's like when I did some illustration work for La Leche League and had stopped nursing after 8 months (seemed like a good stopping point for both kiddo and mom)...all the while thinking that they would banish me from drawing up the funnies for two of their books....Adventures in Gentle Discipline and Tandem Nursing (I did those cartoons before even having kids, let alone twins or nursing two siblings of different ages).
You would expect my kids to swim and make art right? Well, the art part is their choice but dang it-they WILL learn how to swim. This nervous nelly has had enough and so have all of the other parents hearing me screaming DON'T GO INTO THE 4 FEET...I know you can "touch" in there but what if someone KNOCKS you over....I swear, I am not this overprotective-I let my kids ride their bikes in the street for goodness sakes!  (Which brings me to a really great book I'm reading called Raising Your Free Range Kids-the title explains the jist of it). But when you spent your young adult life as a lifeguard it never goes away. Tweet, WALK! (see there I go again)

Sidenote: J (the 7 yr old) did "start" swimming this week all by himself with a little aid from me. Thank goodness.