Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Boo! (updated with photos)

Our ghost and lady bug are fast asleep now after an adventurous evening. We saw our favorite neighbors, hosted the Pry-Becka-toddler-monkey family for dinner and trick-or-treating, gave out handfuls of candy (Cooper is most generous) and ate a few sweets.

Earlier this month, the kids and I visited the pumpkin patch (the same one from Cooper's field trip). Photos from that afternoon are here.

Sunday night, Steve and Cooper visited Grandma at her church for trunk-or-treating. (Papa was out of town for work. Katie and I were home resting, after a week of being sick.) Those photos are here.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Punkin patch

This may be the last year that Cooper says "punkin" instead of "pumpkin," so I get him to say it often. It's a small way to hold on to the little boy, even as he's growing taller and more mature.

Last Wednesday, all seven kindergarten classes rode school buses to a nearby pumpkin patch. It was the group's first field trip. There were lots of moms chaperoning -- one class had a 2:1 student-to-parent ratio! Our class had five moms for 19 kids. I don't think you can ever have enough -- wrangling a bunch of 5- and 6-year-olds in an open field of bales of hay, countless pumpkins, snow cones, a bounce house and various games is a lot of work! We had a great day, as you can see here.

Thursday, October 19, 2006


A few weeks ago, I interviewed Paula Spencer, a family writer and author of "Momfidence! An Oreo Never Killed Anybody and Other Secrets of Happier Parenting." The Q&A is in today's Morning News.

The book is a deceptively easy, fun read; it covers some important issues in parenting and society. Her premise is that parents, specifically moms, should trust their instincts more and rely less on experts. She thinks we've become too protective of our children, and it's going to be a problem later. This fits with anecdotes I've read about oversheltered Gen Y kids, who have worked in groups all their lives and now have trouble being leaders.

Some of her advice challenges my own parenting style -- I do buy only organic milk, shun fast food altogether, advocate organized sports for little folks. But this is what works for our family right now. Our style, cobbled together from all sorts of sources (as I wrote about this time last year), is constantly evolving and probably riddled with "mistakes" according to others. But ultimately, I think that's what "Momfidence" is about -- being confident and comfortable with your choices and being able to sometimes tune out the constantly running monologue of guilt and questions. The job of a mom (and a dad) is much too important to be guilt-free, but it shouldn't overwhelm or paralyze you or your children.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Howdy, partner

Katie and Cooper before our walk to the round-up

Cooper's school sponsored a Western Round-up (fancy words for pizza in the cafeteria, a dance in the gym and vendors in the hallways) last week, and he found it the perfect opportunity to cobble together a cowboy get-up. On our walk to school that night, he stopped at every stranger, tipped his hat and said, "Howdy, partner." I don't know where that uninhibited extroversion comes from, but it sure is entertaining.

Cooper practices some of his "cowboy moves."
A music school offered short guitar lessons.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Well, I have to start back sometime

I haven't had much time for posting, and as the days go by and the photos accumulate on my memory card, I get more intimidated about starting. So I'm just going to start small!

I recently reviewed a book for Religion -- I'm Proud of You: My Friendship with Fred Rogers by Tim Madigan, a writer for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, one of my previous employers. (That was a dismal eight months on a sports copy/layout desk.) I love this book and wish I could buy a copy for all my friends.

Speaking of friends, Michael Taylor was in town about three weeks ago, and he spent some time with me and Katie. It was wonderful to catch up with him and his life in D.C. I miss his company so much. We worked together at the NT Daily in college -- I don't think I would have survived a couple of those years without him and Will. We were reunited later at the Morning News and have had some memorable adventures.

Katie and Michael met for the first time three weeks ago.