At Rise: Girls Are Smart

Wednesday, April 25th 2018



AT RISE:  Mom, 9 y/o Gavin and 6 y/o ClaraJane are in the kids’ bedroom getting dressed for school.

ClaraJane:  “Girls are smart, girls are wise, girls have the power for the prize.”

Gavin:  Wait, what?

ClaraJane:  “Girls are smart, girls are wise, girls have the power for the prize.”

Gavin:  What’s that from?

ClaraJane:  In music class?  We are writing two songs; one about Girl Power and one about Spring.  I’m in the Girl Power one.  I don’t know all of it yet.

Gavin:  Oh.

ClaraJane:  All the girls, well, Jason and Lewis and all the girls are in the one for Girl Power, and the rest of the boys are in the one for Spring.

Mom:  Oh!  Well how wonderfully intersectional of those two boys to be in the song about Girl Power.  Good for them!

ClaraJane:  Yeah!  And Lewis?  He’s in the one for Girl Power because he’s been studying girls since he was like, six!

Gavin:  [Colbert emoji face]colbert-emoji-emojipedia

Gavin:  Studying, girls?


All Three:  [look at each other, laugh, and head out the door]


Posted in art, childhood, comedy, domestic life, education, evidence they get along, family, Friendship, health, learning, love, making art, mental health, music, parenthood, politics, school, siblings, social justice, The Progressive Movement | Leave a comment

Staycation Staycation

Monday April 23rd 2018

Ironman couch



I think the key ingredient to our April Staycation is that we THOUGHT we would go somewhere.  (As in the past.)  Anywhere around really, to get out from messing up the house, driving each other nuts or stewing in our own juices.  So there were THREE whole purely unadulterated, unspoken for days on the calendar to go ANYWHERE.

But some of us just got back from a big trip to California anyway, and frankly we unexpectedly just got our asses handed to us by the IRS.  And Gavin’s birthday is coming up this week and -oh yeah- we love it here!  What greater luxury is there than to *enjoy* the life you’ve created anyway, god forbid?

So the kids played with their friends, and we worked on projects and stuff.

1. Organizing Books: 

Funny how they get read the most when they are all over the floor.


2.  Playing with Friends

Not to mention spending half of vacation rollerskating around in your Supergirl Suit.


3.  Dallying in the Tiny Playground

2018-04-20 18.31.08 Tiny Playground  2018-04-20 18.32.36 Tiny Playground



My son acting “being” depressed on the tiny ride lol.


4. More Rooftop Inspiration

2018-04-22 11.50.29 Rooftop

“This is my dog form the fuchr”

(And the dog is dreaming his way right back to her too.)



5.  Preparing to be TEN:

Purple HAIR, home made case for new PILLOW, and hand painted NAME SIGN.



6. Bonding with Kitten:

2018-04-23 07.37.05 CJ & Kitten.jpg
Of whom we quite literally cannot get enough.


7.  Random Stuff:

Knuckleheads, #TinyStonehenge, Cat Weighing Down Juggler, Sleeping Mascot

And noteably,


Out of this unstructured down time our son leapt to the stern as self-appointed Activities Director and helped schedule our time such that we would HANG OUT on our OWN COUCH and watch ALL THREE IRONMAN movies TOGETHER.  They did not disappoint!  So good.  In fact, spoiler alert, who do you think saves the day at the end of Ironman III?

pepper potts on fire

Why Pepper Potts, fire and rage look great on you!


Notably it was heaven to spend hours, over days, all snuggling on the couch.

In conclusion, it’s not that I have zero envy of friends who toured Puerto Rico or anything, but once in a while it just seems a really good idea to listen to the cat.

2018-04-22 17.44.23 Flash Stay

Stay right here.

#Staycation2018 ♥

Posted in animals, art, camping, childhood, domestic life, evidence they get along, faith, family, love, making art, mental health, parenthood, patience, siblings, work-life balance | 2 Comments

Kids’ Classwork Strategies

Monday, April 23rd 2018


2018-04-23 06.54.24.jpg

My Unicorn


I, the Mom, not only drink the Montessori cool-aid, I am a full on purveyor.  That being said, the years are going by and I’m perennially dumbfounded by my kids’ ability to take the “free choice” latitude to its fullest extent… by NOT doing their classwork.

facepalm emoji

BOY:  For the Boy, classwork is simply not as compelling as his profound READING addiction, to which he has almost always deferred given the slightest chance; like every day.  A most wonderful problem!  “The best problem a parent could ask for,” I always say.  But a problem nonetheless.  Especially when he is about ONE year away from middle school, and I am slowly becoming terrified for him.

GIRL:  For Her it’s a bit more complicated because I seem nearly incapable of grappling with the fact that my daughter might be anything less than the indomitable, fearless, larger-than-life unicorn that I perceive.  Truth is she has a well-worn switch to Shrinking Violet Mode.  It grinds academic engagement -hell, any engagement- to a SCREECHING halt.  I try not to put too much pressure on her, but anyone who knows me can attest to the fact I’m not exactly laid back and neither is my parenting style.  I’ve no idea whether or how deeply my sometimes exacting standards have intimidated this gorgeous delicate creature into submission.  In any case we are -as ever- pulling in any and all resources we can to support her.

In the meantime I wanted to document today’s tiny triumph.

TO HER CREDIT, ClaraJane had me help write a letter to her 1st Grade Teacher Ms. Z, requesting a Daily Smiley Chart like her brother’s:


Screenshot 2018-04-23 10.04.19

ClaraJane’s Letter to Her Teachers



To Boy’s credit he was willing to share the one generously created by his 4th Grade Teacher Ms. Stefanie:

2018-04-23 Gavin's Classwork Chart.jpg

Gavin’s Daily Work Contract


ClaraJane even came up with her own goals (left column):

2018-04-23 CJ Classwork Chart

ClaraJane’s Classwork Chart


So we write the letter, include a copy of brother’s chart, draft the master of hers, make copies for the teacher, and THEN…  I print a copy of the goals on card stock and laminate it into a necklace she can wear to school and in class!  Here it is again:

2018-04-23 06.54.24









[Side note:  $20 laminator worth every penny!  Small too so it fits in a drawer.]

Speaking of which I ALSO put a laminated a copy of her goals rubber banded to Daddy Chef’s school coffee mug so he would have a copy in the kitchen with which to ASK her specific questions about how her day is going… since he’s like, right there in school with them all day every day.  [Note to self:  Make one to help him ask Boy too.]

So we had a great first morning back to school.  Both kids are rested from break and eager to go back.  Gavin got dressed and ready early and cheerfully.  In a new spirit of cooperation ClaraJane even let me brush her hair.  She was excited to try to this new motivational tool she orchestrated.  They were both in great spirits at the bus stop, and she even waved to me from the bus this time (1st time in a while).

happy school bus.jpg

That’s the best I can do for now.  And what a testament to a restful, restorative Staycation Break.

All I need now is some 2nd grade asshole to tease my daughter for wearing  a card around her neck on a string.  F*ck me, miright?

Hopefully not.

fingers crossed

Now to email every member of their support team in and around school.

Too much?

shrug emoji

Posted in activism, childhood, domestic life, education, evidence they get along, faith, family, fight, forgiveness, learning, love, mental health, parenthood, patience, school, siblings, work, work-life balance | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Yo Mamma Jokes

Wednesday, April 18th 2018

yo mama.jpg


Standing in line for movie tickets in peaceful silence, out of nowhere my son pipes up: “YOU SHOULD GET THE SENIOR DISCOUNT!”

I turn to him, incredulous; “You should see what your face looks like right before you die!” I tell him, “Want me to get a mirror?”  as he runs away.

My kids seem to tell “Yo Mamma” jokes indiscriminately -often to each other- without regard for the fact they share the same mother, or that I’m standing RIGHT HERE.

Later I walk around a little step while he jumps up on it.  “You didn’t take the easy way,” he says, “I just took the non-fat people way.”

“I have the right to make fat jokes about you because I’ve seen your belly jiggle!” he says running away.

Funny how he runs away after almost every delivery.

              *              *                *                *                 *                *

Here is more of their material:

Yo Mamma’s so fat that when she takes the elevator she can only go down.

My Mamma’s so stupid she thought a quarterback was a refund.

My Mamma’s so fat, when she went bungee jumping they reported a meteor.

My Mamma’s so hairy, her knuckles have sideburns.

My Mamma’s so fat, she beat Hussein Bolt by rolling over… once.

My Mamma’s so fat, she drinks coffee from a trough.

More to come I’m sure.

yo mamma bill nye

Posted in childhood, comedy, domestic life, faith, family, fight, forgiveness, Friendship, love, parenthood | Leave a comment

Rooftop Garden Antics

Wednesday, April 18th 2018

Kendall Square, Cambridge MA

Our Staycation Adventure explorations find us in a nearby Rooftop Garden.

2018-04-18 ROOFTOP GARDEN ANTICS [60 seconds]: 


#1234  #DoubleStack

Posted in childhood, comedy, domestic life, faith, family, health, love, making art, mental health, nature, parenthood, work-life balance | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Animation Show of Shows

Wednesday, April 18th 2018

First stop on our April Staycation, this amazing film presentation at Coolidge Corner Theatre:  Animation Show of Shows.

The 19th Annual Animation Show of Shows Trailer [1:30]:


Just the theatre was extraordinary, not to mention the featured pieces.

2018-04-18 10.04.14

Producer and curator, Ron Diamond

Among all the fascinations this is one some may remember from their classrooms in the mid-60’s, when The Hangman was shown to students to raise awareness in response to McCarthyism.

The Hangman (1964) [Animation] [10:47]:


More info here:

And frankly here are seven of the 16 we saw today:


What a privilege.

Posted in activism, art, childhood, comedy, education, fight, history, learning, love, music, politics, social justice, travel | 1 Comment

Split Double Date Night

Sunday April 15th 2018

No babysitter, no problem.

Dear Hubsand takes our daughter out for Dinner Date with Daddy:


And I take our son to the show!

2018-04-15 18.43.06


At first I was afraid my date was defective…







2018-04-15 20.50.51


But alas he was the BEST, the show was extraordinary and we LOVED it in all it’s glory and harrow.  A lot to take in at 9 years old but it’s tragically relevant and he’s up to the task.





Posted in activism, art, childhood, domestic life, faith, family, food, forgiveness, Friendship, health, learning, love, mental health, money, music, parenthood, Performing Life, politics, racial injustice, Religious Hypocrisy, work-life balance | Tagged | 1 Comment