Bread and Butter Dreams

Wednesday, September 28th 2016


“Sorry guys but we are NOT going to make it for breakfast,” I say, driving the kids to school.  “How about some bread and butter?”

My 5 year nods in excitement.  Pulling the butter dish and sack of rolls from my purse, I prepare and distribute one to her.

There are two left so I butter and hand them to my 8 year old.  (Yes driving, mea culpa.)

Happy silence.

Then I hear this; “Here ClaraJane, you can eat more bread and butter than I can,” as my boy hands one of his rolls to his baby sister.

The quiet sound of joy and astonishment.  My daughter gleefully alternates bites between her double-fisted breakfast.  I drive on in awe of this act of grandeur.


Little did I know Boy would sneak down to school breakfast anyway, in order to partake of the promised yogurt parfait offered in Daddy’s kitchen that day.
(I was heading in on behalf of Dept. of Public Works to help students dispose of them correctly, though obviously I was late and never mind.)


Later Boy says, “Mom remember that time I gave ClaraJane the BIGGEST french fry from my plate?  And you cried with gladness?”

Thanks Boy.


And just to temper the unicorns and butterflies a smidge, here is the 45-minute dinner out I’d conceived for us to have family time today between activities, wherein dear daughter proclaims she will eat nothing, and the boys promptly throw themselves inextricably into the next shiny thing overhead.


CJ makes “creepy face” as I ponder how ashamed I should be of TV-shaming…


And finally, upon arriving at Taekwondo, my son announces, “As soon as I get to quit I intend to forget everything I learn here!”

Nice sentence structure, son.







Posted in childhood, domestic life, faith, family, food, Friendship, love, mental health, parenthood, school | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

You Guys Can Go Ahead and Kiss Now


Sunday, September 25th 2016


Alas we have found a parking spot and cut the engine after a slightly stressful, maritally typical commute wherein the hubsand is at the wheel and the wife is backseat driving from shotgun.  We are regaining composure with a little self-deprecating humor and laughter.

“You guys can go ahead and kiss now if you want to,” offers our 5 y/o daughter helpfully from the back seat next to her brother.  “We won’t separate you this time because we’ve got seat belts on.”

Gee thanks honey.

Posted in childhood, comedy, domestic life, family, fight, forgiveness, love, marriage, mental health, parenthood, patience | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Plain Jane Saturday

Saturday, September 24th 2016

I’ve been desperate for life to slow down and have NOTHING HAPPEN for a while, so I could catch my breath.  And maybe stop taking so many damn photos all the time.  Thankfully this particular Saturday gives me just that.  No gigs, just a rare simple Saturday with family like normal people.  Nothing to photograph here.

First up:


Boy, sleeping in late to the astonishment of Darth Snowflake and all the ugly dolls.





The privilege of taking the Girl to ballet.




Pause to model ballet bag and tights                    (thank you Aunt Amanda!) 



Another pause, to maul Kitten mid-costume change.  

(See Love Unconditional.) 



A reprieve from beloved found objects filling our home.


Much as we love theses treasures, we bet the Faeiries will even more.













Trip to CostCo, wherein Boy models what he really really wants…




Take out Costco dinner by the Mystic River.


Such a RELIEF. As you can see, just a BORING day with flamly.  NOTHING special about it.   Thank goodness life SLOWED DOWN for a moment like I wished.  Finally I can be unaffected, unenthralled, undistracted by what’s directly in front of me.  I can think about deeper things because there’s NOTHING TO SEE here.  Thank goodness I didn’t need to take any PHOTOS.  It’s not like I’m in LOVE or anything.

So let’s just move along shall we?




Posted in animals, childhood, domestic life, faith, family, food, health, love, mental health, parenthood, work-life balance | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Standing Restored – Yes He Did

Thursday, September 22nd 2016

Picking up from Taekwondo, Angst and the Creative Process, and to answer my mom’s question “Well did he write the letter?

Yes he did finish it.

Without much fuss at that.  And sealed it in an envelope.  So I couldn’t read it.  Because it’s between him and Mr. Bart you know.


So while I don’t know exactly what he wrote, I do know he worked through some mighty aggressive aversion to going to class today, submitted the letter to Mr. Bart and earned a new uniform.



And because I didn’t have permission to take this photo, for permission to keep it he extorted the promise of a post-class Subway sandwich (one of his current compulsions).


In this video snapshot below you can see approximately 3 seconds of class but 25 seconds of leaving at the end.

2016-09-22 GLO TKD RESTORED [1min]:


A breakdowns is the opportunity a breakthrough.  And for this one, I might be just a little proud of my Boy today.


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Taekwondo, Angst and the Creative Process

Wednesday, September 21st 2016

So bummed my last post about this got vaporized.  I must tread delicately here to avoid betraying my Dear Boy Child.

Here is the time last week when I misgauged the time of his class (it was belt testing for a different class), and he took advantage of the opportunity to earn participation credibility  from the sidelines.


And here he is presently, in the back of the class practicing some blocks next to Mr. Bart.



Note the absence of uniform (ahem).  Let’s just say it became… unavailable at a certain point in the recent past.  He is now in the process of earning another one (and replacement belt) with his attendance, focus and attitude in class.

The incomparable Mr. Bart also requested a written letter from Gavin about this undertaking.

Having been given choice about when to write it, he naturally chose the last possible time.  Imagine his dismay this afternoon when I held him to it.


Questionably, I even offered him a bunch of prompts for starts of sentences.  Dedicated work space, clear expectations, strategy for success, positive feedback and encouragement, snack, Taekwondo character values on the wall; he had it all.


In he dove.  Into the valley of darkness and despair, revulsion and dismay, anger and avoidance, tantrums and theatrics, chafing and complaints; the works.  After about an hour of this, and about one sentence down, I brought in this peace offering:


Me: “Gavin I want to share something with you.  But don’t tell anyone because it has a bad word.”

(That got his attention.)

Me: “I’m going to share the secret of the Creative Process with you.  But it’s gotta be a secret because it contains a bad word.”

Him: M’kay.

Me:  Do you think your mom might know something about the Creative Process?

Him:  I dunno (feigning his best “I don’t care” slump).

Me:  Well here it is (and I show him this):



What a beautiful moment it was.  Ah the humor, the taboo, the comic relief.  Being that sense of humor may very well be the Boy’s finest quality, he laughed heartily, and long, bent over in that silent kind of laugh, eyes watering.  Mine were watering too at the beauty of it all.

He agreed this rang true.  I asked him if he weren’t currently somewhere between 3 and 4, and more laughter of recognition.

He also modified it by crossing out #1 altogether, and then (with permission) replaced “is tricky” with “SUKCS.”  [sic]

Ultimately we taped it above his desk and he asked me -as my kids do sometimes- to “post it on Facebook.”

“Like write a blog post about it?” I asked.

“Yeah,” he said, and got back to work.

Pretty much.

Posted in art, childhood, comedy, domestic life, education, faith, fight, forgiveness, love, making art, mental health, parenthood, patience, school, work | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Flamly Routines & Expectations

September 2016

Sometimes parenting requires you to be a hard ass, such as when adjusting back to school, and especially when you have a child being a smart ass.

safety while backtalking.png


So here FWIW is the current stab at growing a pair and tightening the reins:

2016-09 EXPECTATIONS of GLO - jpg.jpg

Hubsand and I agreed that disciplining the child is a WAY bigger pain-in-the-ass for the parents as it is for the child, because it’s much more work (than NOT parenting) and yields an unhappier child in your face in the short term.  But our responsibility lies in what kind of human being we are raising for the LONG term, so therein lies the rub.  Alas it’s our responsibility to grow a pair and lay down the BOUNDARIES, so the dear young human can cultivate some BEARINGS, don’t cha know.

At least that is the hope.  Which apparently springs as eternal as the huffiness in a rebel child’s demeanor (who is NOT a teenager though sometimes you wouldn’t know it).



Here for reference is his agenda from the end of last school year:



I’m sure he will be thrilled to discover me documenting these here.

(Sorry babe, these are my parenting tools.  No one’s saying they’re the best in the world.  Just using what I have is all. Deal with it!)




While I’m at it, here is our MORNING ROUTINE for both kids during summer/ weekends/ /holidays:


This worked pretty well for a while, but as with possibly most things in life, we -parents included- need to be reminded and relearn over and over again.

To that end, here for the record is a chart of suggested activities from which to choose, one from each category, before even considering the ever pervasive video/game screen time:


Paradoxically but not surprisingly we had to move “Reading” into its own category, because Gavin does it all the time anyway and would never choose one of the others in the mental category.  (Not complaining, fyi.)



For further record and comparison, here is also one I found from the previous year (2015):


I believe I shall leave it here.  And post our family creeds elsewhere.   And the inspiring memes to support the positive parenting.

And by the way, B.O.G.B.T. = “basket of going back things” which each kid has as a repository into which I can throw random crap they leave around the house.  One of my proudest inventions as a mom actually.  Because I’m such a nerd/geek/jerk.  (My husband would say it’s because I looooooove baskets.   I’d say it’s because I looooooove a sense of order, and baskets are just one example of great holding bins that help categorized in hopes of staving off chaos.  So there.)

And now you know.

Or not because I lost you much earlier in this post.

Either way this is me trying to clutch shreds of sanity in the face of the extraordinary and  challenging privilege of this work.





Posted in childhood, domestic life, education, faith, family, forgiveness, love, parenthood, patience, school, work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Political Corruption 101 with Zephyr Teachout

September 2016

I hope everyone gets a chance to see these three incisive minutes about how Washington D.C. “works,” by Zephyr Teachout:

Political Corruption 101 with Zephyr Teachout [3:39]:

Posted in Bernie Sanders, education, faith, fight, money, politics | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments