Wednesday, November 26, 2008

cooking with kids

I baked pumpkin bread a few days ago with Pook. Bug was napping and we had an hour to ourselves. I was so patient, letting him do all the measurements (even doubling the recipe for me) and spilling whatever he spilled. The bread turned out great and he and I had some nice time alone which we don't get often these days.

Bug was off from school both Monday and Tuesday (We do not get our money's worth out of that preschool this time of year!) and I got nothing done. I kept thinking I'd finish everything up on Wednesday when his brother would be home to entertain him. The laundry piled up but I kept him relatively occupied.

All I needed to do today was to bake pies. The plan was one pumpkin and one apple. Then two apple. Then two apple and one pumpkin. Then I started. [Then I stopped to break up an argument. Then I restarted.] (Take the sentences in brackets right there and insert them again every time I put [] )

I'm glad I bought lots of apples just for my family to eat. I kept peeling and peeling and coring and slicing and looking for more apples. [] I used every last one in the house and barely had enough. I added the spices three times. The first batch got to drain, as my food-porn tv show suggested. The second time I added more apples I remeasured the spices. [] The third time it all just got dumped in. []

Bug seemed to have no interest in helping anyone do anything they requested. It was that kind of a day for him. So, I asked Pook to help with the pie crust (store bought this time) and he unwrapped it and had it ripped to shreds before I could tell him how to do it. I took over and patched it up. [] [] Finally, I put them in the oven. [] No. I put ONE in the oven because my &^%$# %^&* *&^% ^%$ oven is so small it only holds one pie. A few minutes later I took it out and remembered that I needed to put the crumb topping on before it baked. I asked Pook to help me make the topping- flour, brown sugar and butter. Then I took over as he licked off the table.

Finally I got one pie in the oven. I looked around at the clock (two hours) and the floor (should have had him lick that too) and the dishes. I ate a square of chocolate. I pulled a load of laundry out of the dryer and added a new one. I washed the dishes, wiped the counters and table and swept the floor. I heard another argument brewing and I gave Bug a warning that naptime was approaching. I transfered another load of laundry. I tucked Bug in and came downstairs just in time to remove the first pie and start baking the second one.

I am not baking a pumpkin pie today. Apple will be plenty. We still need to fold laundry and pack for the weekend. Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I am thankful for my children's help. I think.

Finally I sat down here at the computer. Pook wandered in. "Can you play with me? We haven't done anything today."

Saturday, November 22, 2008


We raked the first installment of leaves in our yard today. We usually finish New Year's Day-- weird tradition, but it works. Pook collected twigs we'd uncovered and when I suggested he put them in the new firewood bin, his brain started to roll.

Now my chimney is sending the sweet scent of a wood burning fire throughout the neighborhood. We just had appetizers and cocktails. This consisted of crackers with cream cheese and jelly (pepper jelly, pinot grigio jelly and peach- the boys liked them all) and whatever combo we can make of bubbly-kid-friendly-drink mixed with juice and served with a straw. They boys both want to play games later, but right now CD is trolling through a lyric book with his guitar. They have pulled out every pillow and blanket they can find to build, not a fort, but a nest. If anyone lays an egg I'll update later. We've got dinner in the crock pot or we'd put hot dogs on a stick. It's just that kind of an evening.

Friday, November 21, 2008

pay up

My kids enjoyed A Midsummer Night's Dream. Bug has been prancing around and, although he doesn't really know the plot, he wants to act it out. Costumes are the best part. I suggested to relatives that they shop after Halloween to find costumes for him for Christmas. He's a dramatic little boy!

Me, I don't like drama in my life and fortunately I had a boring time at court. I plead guilty, basically because I was -- and I wasn't sure exactly what nolo contendere involved. Then I sat and waited. When I was called up to the judge he didn't even ask me about the incident. He looked at his paperwork, muttered "$115" and I was ushered out. I was home in time to kiss the boys good night.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


My kids and my husband are out watching Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream at Pook's school. The third through fifth grade children are performing. Some parent has connections to a local university's Shakespeare program and this is an annual event. I'd love to see how they adapt it for the little ones. I can't wait to hear Bug's take on it. He might be good at theatre, considering how much pretend he does at home daily.

I will be at traffic court for the fender bender I had last month. Not sure what to expect. I'm bringing a book in case it gets boring and I'm bringing cash in case I get a fine. Loved explaining why I'd miss Shakespeare when the kids asked. Then CD mentioned bringing money. "Why do you need money?" "If the judge thinks I did a bad thing I might get a consequence and have to pay money." (They know the word "consequences" very, very well!)

If they hadn't had the play going on I would have considered taking them along for the learning experience. Plus, what judge would be hard on me in front of them? Instead I'm on my own. Hope I can find the right building in the dark- I'm due at 7pm. I'm not particularly nervous yet, but I will be. Pleased to say I've never done anything like this before. I'm grateful that I'm just going to the tiny city court near us and not downtown county or downtown Atlanta. I've done jury duty at both of those and neither is in a location I'd enjoy visiting at night, alone.

Off I go. If there's anything worth following up with on either of the evening's activities, I'll do it tomorrow.

twentieth century dinosaurs

I love Scholastic books. I was a teacher and I bought and redeemed points for lots and lots of books which now line the shelves upstairs in my house. That said, I'm disappointed in how much tv character merchandise they sell. I wish the school could limit how much they offer. They don't know what books will be available until they unpack the boxes. Scholastic has its heart in the right place. The policy is that if a child comes to buy a book and doesn't have enough money, the salespeople (such as me, today) are to discretely sell the book to the child and ask them to bring the rest of the money another day. There is to be no follow up. Scholastic would rather "put the book in the child's hands than lose a sale and disappoint a child".

Pook and Bug both have book fairs at school right now. They've been poring over the newsprint brochure. They know to look at real stories and not character books and items, which I won't pay to own. I said I would buy them each a book and I'm encouraging Pook to spend his own money to get one for his brother for Christmas. Three of the seven on his wish list were books he thought Bug would want.

The kids see something Pokemon and are discussing it. I looked over and checked it out.
Pook: "I guess you didn't have Pokemon when you were a kid."
I defend myself, "No, but there were lots of other characters."
Pook takes the slam dunk: "Well, I wasn't alive in the Twentieth Century, so I wouldn't know."

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

science mom

Today I was "Science Mom" at Bug's preschool. I had no idea what that meant when I signed up for it at the start of school. The teacher had no specific date for me and no curricular topic for me. All I knew is that last month they'd done color mixing, so I needed something different. I read a fun idea somewhere (can't credit it b/c I've no idea where) about teaching children to wash away germs. Seeing as it is Prime Germ Season right now it was a perfect fit.

If you'd like to play along at home, you will need:
  • magnifying glass (I borrowed enough for everyone from the elementary school)
  • white paper towels
  • soap and water
  • Crisco
  • ground cinnamon
  • Spread a dab of Crisco on your hands, smearing it all over the fingernails and between the fingers.
  • Sprinkle cinnamon "germs" on your hands and rub them around also.
  • Look at the germs with the magnifying glass
  • Try to wipe off the germs with a dry paper towel
  • Look for any remaining germs with the magnifying glass
  • Wash hands with soap and water
  • Look for any hidden germs in between fingers and by fingernails (Lather, Rinse and Repeat)
I also read a couple of books: Body Battles by Rita Gelman and The Germ Patrol by Shulman, Stolp and Voss. The kids were all over the discussion of sticking one's fingers in one's nose, sucking thumbs and wiping noses on hands. Calling white blood cells soldiers in battle also drew a lot of interest. Having lots of magnifying glasses was crucial. So, overall, I think I did well. We'll see what Bug remembers when he gets home from school. And if hand washing in my house improves at all.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


It's freezing. Literally. We're having our first below 32° night. If I had any plants alive outdoors I'd need to cover them. Fortunately I've already killed them all.

When I first moved south I spent the winter with the front of my big warm winter coat unzipped. The following winter I realized how silly that was and I invested in a lighter winter coat and left the big one at my parents'. The third winter I spent cold. Always cold. The following winter I realized how silly that was and I invested in a big warm winter coat. I've been cold ever since. My blood has thinned. But as cold as I usually feel after about 4pm, I still dash out to the mailbox without a coat.

Georgians have an odd habit of not wearing cold weather clothing. You regularly see someone out at their mailbox in shorts, or barefoot, and certainly not wearing a coat. My children run around the house barefoot. Neither one wears a sweatshirt or sweater regularly. When they were younger I'd dress them warmly if I was cold. "Here, put this on. I'm cold." Maybe most Southerners don't see the point when they'll be back indoors again soon. Maybe they've lost their senses.


This year I suggested to the boys that we combine all the Halloween candy into one bowl. They hesitated, but agreed. Since Bug had gotten tired running up and down all the steep driveways in our neighborhood, he had significantly less candy. Pook could tell this by looking, so I knew it factored into his decision making but he was the first to agree.

Once the candy was dumped into one huge bowl, all the peanut products were removed to be taken to CD's office. That may have reduced the quantity by a full fourth. Then, since Grandma and Grandad were visiting, they were offered the bowl to help themselves. (The kids already had full mouths.) And, each day since, CD and I have freely taken from the pot after dinner in full view of the kids. They've been rationed since the first night and they are only eating it for afternoon snack and after dinner. I'm keeping it up high so that it'll be out of sight and out of mind the rest of the day, but it has been generously shared when we pull it out. I'm quite amazed that this method has worked.

We're in the routine of eating dessert every night. I'm not exactly sure how this happened. I know I've got a sweet tooth so I haven't exactly worked hard to stop the trend. We usually have cookies around and each have two after dinner. I did buy a huge bag of frozen mixed berries once. As much as we liked them, I believe they've been lost in the back of the outdoor freezer. Since the huge Halloween candy bowl is almost empty, this might be the time to bring that back. In theory I agree that dessert shouldn't be expected. In practice, I want a sweet after dinner.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Daddy Days

Last night CD was out late and mentioned to me that he would probably skip church. He was in the middle of a project anyway-- making a wooden bin for firewood in our driveway. I figured the kids would join me and he'd get some work done. But we woke up late- (by "woke up" I mean, we knew the kids were up and playing, but we hadn't acknowledged that it was time for us to get up yet) at 8:30 and church starts at 9:30 about 20 minutes from here. I leaped into the shower. CD had the choice of rushing to get the boys dressed and fed and then have time alone, or to take his time with them but have to work with "help". He, in turn, gave them the choice. I dressed, ate and left.

What were we thinking? Of course they chose to stay home. Sunday school with Mama or power tools with Daddy? Hurry to get dressed and eat fast, or hang out in PJ's and see if Daddy will turn on a DVD? Go to church with Mama or have a Daddy Day?

"Daddy Days" at my house are part of the regular week. I discovered that staying at home with a baby for five straight days suddenly made me the One-Who-Was-To-Know-The-Answers to the New-Pink-Crying-Eating-Pooping baby we now had. And so I found a nearby yoga class on Saturday mornings and I left. "Here's a bottle. He last ate an hour ago. I just diapered him. Love you both, bye." And as Pook learned his days of the week they went like this:
Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Daddyday.

They'd hang out at home or they'd go to the library. CD learned how to answer and not-know-the-answer-because-who-really-does-anyway all those baby questions for himself. This routine worked until sports started taking over Saturday mornings. I'd begun going to a weekday yoga class by then and Pook was in a Parents Morning Out program two days a week. Getting away wasn't as important on Saturdays as it once had been. By then CD and I could even handle having the then-new Bug in the mix. Daddy Days began to simply mean The Weekends.

And if they include power tools, Mama and church have no chance.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

new friend for Pook and Bug

We have neighbors. While I knew we'd never be lucky enough to have little boys next door who were just the right ages (and good kids!) again, we're pretty happy. A family with a a teenage daughter and son, and a 6 year old daughter has moved in. I could tell that M, the youngest, was going to be a cool kid when I first met her. She was as dirty as she could have been and still been allowed indoors. I like that in a little girl. I knew she'd be a good match.

She came over and she and Bug played outdoors one afternoon, but it was while Pook was sick, so I didn't let them come inside. Today she came over and checked out the toy selection, played with some of our many instruments (doodled gently on the piano) and ran around with a pirate eye patch on for a while. Bug is happy as can be. Pook seems to be reserving judgment. She's in kindergarten and he's in second grade, so I understand the difference. However, she's just exactly halfway between the boys in age, having just turned six.

Her parents are friendly and seem like they'll be easy to get to know. They're encouraging their daughter to babysit for us (she wasn't sure if it was her kind of thing) since apparently "she likes to shop and needs her own money". I haven't met the son yet; he's away at a boy scout camping trip this weekend. It all feels good. I still miss our former neighbors, but I'm glad we have another chance.

Friday, November 14, 2008


"I'm thinking. You'll have to be patient for a minute."

growing old without grace

I just came from the perfect yoga class. I jokingly call this class her "Old Folks Yoga" but I like to relax with it on Fridays. I've attended many of C's classes for years and always like them, but today's class worked every muscle I needed to work and flowed seamlessly for 90 minutes. Then at the end of the relaxation portion I was somewhat startled, leaving me to believe I had dozed off. I thanked her and told her that I wish I'd recorded the class to repeat at home.

Last summer when I flew with the boys to Indy, I injured a thigh muscle. I think we'd already missed our flight and were returning from a trip to a new terminal for the next available flight (which hadn't actually been available) to the original terminal. Point is, I was stressed. We boarded the airport shuttle train and were about the only passengers there. The boys wanted to ride without holding on, and I wanted them to think I was calm. So I laughed and showed them how to put their feet to "train surf". We traveled from A to B together, giggling. But then at B, the train filled up and there wasn't room to play. It was just starting to move when I saw that Bug had let go again and was going to fall onto a woman behind him. I lurched. My thigh muscle didn't. I didn't realize how badly I'd hurt it until that evening when I tried to sit on the floor. No go. And I haven't sat cross-legged since. So, I try to stretch it at Old Folks Yoga a bit at a time. It's coming along, but slowly.

What isn't coming along is my foot. I injured it the day of the lemonade stand in June. A week of pain which improved. Then quit improving. "Things take longer to heal as you age" I was told. I waited. At the three month mark I began to wonder if it was worth a trip to a doctors. I finally decided to get it checked out, on Sister MD's suggestion. They felt it. They X-rayed it. I thought nothing was broken and nothing was broken. I got a name of a podiatrist. She felt it. She mangled it a bit and looked puzzled. She got an ultrasound machine out and said "Ah ha." Now, "Ah ha" is a very good noise to hear from a doctor. I immediately trusted her. I even kept from screaming when she put TWO cortisone shots in my foot with needles that looked to be about four inches long. (I never found the exit wounds, but I'm sure they're there.) I even trusted her when I went back two weeks later (Nov. 5) for TWO MORE cortisone shots. (This time she distracted me by talking politics but the shots still hurt like &%$@ and were sore for about four days after.) Now I'm supposed to go in for YET TWO MORE shots on Tuesday.

There are two pinched nerves in my foot. But the treatment is worse than the previous condition. I can walk. I even hiked around Washington. What I can't do comfortably are are yoga and TV watching. (How 'bout that irony?) I can't stand on one foot. I can't twist my foot. I can't rest my foot on a coffee table. (I also can't bike, but that hasn't come up in months.) I haven't been to my regular yoga class in ages. I miss it. I need it. I think I'm a yoga addict. I'll even undergo these two more shots if she thinks I'll improve. But @*#% those needles are long.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

quotes from Bug

Do Dr. Seuss and Richard Scary know each other? Because they both write funny books.

I heard a bird band with all of them tweeting when I was in the bathroom with the window open this morning.

Learn something! Learn the star wars people character's names at home today Mama.

What if Michael Phelps didn't fit all his gold medals on his bulletin board?

I want to visit Africa, Japan, Mexico and Pittsburgh.

When can we go camping?
(Me: Ask your dad; I might not go next time.)
But then he would have to roast marshmallows for us and you wouldn't get any. That's why I always go. (He's been camping exactly once.)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

sticks and stones

The stick was just inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame. The stick. It was praised for "its all-purpose, no-cost, recreational qualities, noting its ability to serve either as raw material or an appendage transformed in myriad ways by a child's creativity." Plus, it has been around for... a while, and "longevity is a key criterion for getting into the hall.... Each toy must not only be widely recognized and foster learning, creativity or discovery through play, but also endure in popularity over generations." (For more, see
I can't decide how to read this. One the one hand, it sounds kind of cool. Yes, there should be a Toy Hall of Fame, and yes, Barbie and Mr. Potato Head should probably be members. And yes, a stick is probably the oldest toy ever. And yes, any kid can tell you that sticks are toys. (And rocks if what I find in the washer is any indication.) Plus, in 2005 they inducted a cardboard box (which I question also.) But, really. In time for Christmas? What are they gonna do now? Sell designer sticks as the Next Hot Toy?
If they're all out by the time you're looking for one, please let me know. I have some I could sell you. And clean rocks.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

gift lists

I know what I'm going to give Daddy for Christmas! I'm gonna make a list. Don't look Daddy!
Daddy, how do you spell "coffee"?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Bug's Pasta Restaurant

I hope you're as hungry as Pook and I were, because this restaurant has food you won't want to miss. Take a minute to read the menu and Bug will be by to take your order shortly.

Like only the best places in town, we were first offered dessert. This is how it should be and all four star restaurants should take note. We had our choice of chocolate cec or iscrem (came in vanilla or chocolate we were told) and even had the option of adding whipped cream, cherries and chocolate syrup if we had wished instead of the usual cone.

Following that lovely start, I suggested that we might need something a bit more substantial. At this point the restaurant became a Pasta Restaurant and the chef began to prepare a few favorite dishes. While I love pine nuts and basil, I passed by the posbged for the straight version of sbgd with meatballs. Pook went for the very cheesy macrony. We were both very pleased with our choices.

The atmosphere was quite pleasant. Those with fevers were allowed to eat on the sofa. The pile of orange and yellow markers macrony on the plate looked magnificent. The sbgd was perfectly al dente.

Our total tab came to 12. We did not order any drinks. Reservations were not needed Friday afternoon, but after this review they may become necessary.
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Friday, November 7, 2008

loud or kicking?

Pook used to be fine with shots - back in the days when he regularly watched me get allergy shots. I'd go in, twice a week for a while, and I'd get a shot, he'd get a sticker and we'd hang out to play before leaving. Then for some reason last flu shot season he decided to scream his little head off. While not having any real memory of previous shots, this gave Bug reason to freak out when it was his turn. It was not a good experience. I told the nurse I'd hold the loud ends while she held the kicking ends, but it was a pretty awful experience for all of us.

It is now flu shot season again. I had made appointments for Saturday and told them all about it. I reminded them that last year they decided that the worry was much worse than the shot, so that this year we could be prepared. Then they both went and got sick and we went to the doctor's a day early. Bug has ear infections in both ears; Pook doesn't have strep but does have some unidentified fever. Bug could still get his flu shot; Pook could not. "How about right now?" the nurse asked.

Pook lay down on the paper covered table, his ears bright with heat, relieved that he not only didn't need medicine but also wouldn't be "allowed" to get a flu shot. Bug looked at me with panic as the nurse walked in with her little shot tray. His pants were already off and his belly was exposed so I gave it a kiss and tried to distract him. "It will poke and then it will be done," I reminded him. He looked like he was just about to lose it when in came the nurse's hand and in went the needle and he took a sharp breath... but then relaxed. That was it.

"Going to the doctor's was boring. Except getting weighed. I weigh 47 lbs!"

sick and sicker

Kissed Pook goodnight last night and could tell immediately that he was burning up. Moms don't need thermometers to know when there will be no school in the morning. Then before Bug could know about Pook's illness, he came in this morning complaining that his ear hurt. Since he's hung onto this cold for more than two weeks now I'm not exactly surprised.

Pook was told he would be staying home. He mumbled but didn't have the energy to protest. Bug immediately began to feel worse. He needed to stay home too. Decided when Bug continued bouncing on my bed as he told me how badly he felt, that perhaps I should rephrase the question. "If your brother goes to school today, do you feel so sick that you want to lay on the sofa all day and not play?" "Uh, no." "Then you're going to school."

I phoned the Dr. to make an appointment for the ear infection, but sent that kid to school. The feverish one is at home on the sofa, and I wouldn't ordinarily take him to the doctor for just a fever. However... (1) it is a Friday (B) they were both supposed to get flu shots tomorrow morning at 9:30 and (Last) I'm going to be there anyway.... So Pook has an appointment too. Still seems weird. Do you drag the feverish child to his happy brother's appointment and not have him checked out? I'm not sure they'll give a sick kid a flu shot, but if they will, I shall hold out his pathetic leg and let them. Get it over with.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

mower story

I've come out. My parents have spent the last few days reading almost a year's worth of Pook and Bug. In exchange for having to be careful of what I say about them now, I've gotten some lovely feedback from them. And, my mom has pulled out some older writings of mine which she has saved. This one is from when I was a young, single teacher with my first house. If my mom can save all this, I'm justified in saving all my musings about my boys.

5:44 PM
Home Alone

As the fire department pulled away, I decided that I'm not to be trusted home alone. I don't really want school to start again, but perhaps I need supervision ... or someone to mow my lawn for me next time.

Trying to make this a productive day, I got out the lawnmower while it was a mere 90 degrees out (before it got hot). I filled the gas tank, which I just learned how to do this spring, and mowed all but a small, teeny tiny strip along the front. I then noticed that the mower was smoking.

Because it is an old mower, I decided the smoking was legal, but not good. I turned it off and left it near the carport, by the gas can. I considered the idea of finding out how to check the oil before resuming my mowing.

I completed a few other items on my TO DO list, and was sitting, eating my lunch, when the real estate agent showing my neighbor's house rang my doorbell. He ran frantically to grab the gas can, and pushed the mower further from the house. The flames were impressive enough, and smelled terrible. I got the kitchen fire extinguisher out, but really wasn't excited about getting close enough to use it. I wasn't sure if the gas tank would explode, or if the worst was done. I phoned the authorities for their advice, and they made the executive decision to pay me a visit.

I heard the sirens the entire distance from the station, knowing they were coming only to tell me it wasn't important enough for the call, and my little extinguisher was good enough. They grinned, but didn't laugh, while two of them chatted and one of them hosed the mower down quite thoroughly. One of the fire fighters (sounds exciting just using that term) knew the previous owner of my home, who worked at the same station before retiring. Apparently he never caught anything on fire....

The children across the street were very excited, and when the smoke cleared they came over to check it all out. The woman looking at the neighbor's house for sale commented that she was looking for a quiet neighborhood. The fire fighters suggested I buy a new mower. I think I just need a teenager to move in next door, and do it all for me.

So, all is now calm on my street.
I hope everyone is having an equally exciting day.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

pillow talk

I always go in to the kids' bedroom, before I go to bed myself, and I tuck the blankets around them, pick up lovies from the floor, tell them that I love them and give them each a kiss. I doubt I've ever missed a night.

Some nights I stop by one of them and rest my cheek against his. "I'm sorry I yelled at you," I'm compelled to say. "You're a really good kid," I remind him.

Last night I went to bed after Obama had been proclaimed the winner at 11 pm. (I'm not a good night owl now that I have kids. Let me sleep in and I'll stay up happily!) I kissed Bug and pulled up his comforter. I sat by Pook. "Obama won," I said. "He's going to be our next president." His eyes sprung open wide and he lifted his head. "Really?!" he exclaimed. Then he put his head back on the pillow and returned to sleep.

This is why I talk to them in their sleep.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

make a difference

"If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping in a room with a mosquito."

African proverb

Monday, November 3, 2008

362 days until Halloween

The boys insisted on designing a "fierce" pumpkin this year. I'd say they succeeded.

Here they are in their Halloween finery, about to collect way too much candy. These were among the simplest costumes we've ever made. Bug's scuba air tanks were 2-liter soda bottles strapped on his back with duct tape. His flippers were cut from foam. Pook and I used the hot glue gun together and he decorated his Sioux Indian costume with a bead pattern. He decided he didn't want a headband although we have some lovely feathers in our art box now. (He also changed his mind from Iroquois for some reason. Not sure what would have been different!)

Bug has now added to his idea list for next Halloween:

baseball player
dinosaur "WITH A MASK"
old lady

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pack it up

I just brushed off the clots of dirt from the cleats. Put a dozen baseballs in a crate in the garage. Wrapped the velcro around the shin guards. Used straight bleach on the white baseball pants. Wiped mud off the soccer ball. Put it all away.

We won't be doing any winter sports. My neighbors are all but filling two basketball teams of just Pook and Bug's ages, but I'm not even asking the boys if they're interested. I'm not.

Pook had his first home run. We ate pizza and a giant cookie with all the Lugnuts' names written in frosting. His coach gave him his trophy, along with the words, "To the boy who can have the most energy... when he wants to."

Bug made one of the only two goals at his last soccer game. Glad no one kept score. He ate hot dogs and cake and received his trophy at a team party.

Spring Baseball/Tee Ball will be here soon enough. In the winter we will rest.