gnomi: (writer (celli))
In the wake of last week's news out of Newtown, CT, [personal profile] mabfan and I use this week's The Brookline Parent column to write an open letter to Muffin and Squeaker. Click to read Dear Muffin and Squeaker.
gnomi: (writer (celli))
In this week's The Brookline Parent column on Brookline Patch, [personal profile] mabfan discusses Brookline Town Meeting's recent votes to ban polystyrene cups and plastic grocery bags. What is the connection between these votes and Muffin and Squeaker? Read Roots in the Future to find out. And if you're a fan of either "Callahan's Crosstime Saloon" or "Babylon 5," there's a little bonus for you.
gnomi: (writer (celli))
Our latest The Brookline Parent column at Brookline Patch was supposed to run on last Friday as usual, but due to a production error, it ran on Saturday instead and has just been re-featured this morning. So for those of you who missed it...

I wrote a column that definitely lives up to the name The Brookline Parent, as I talk about the fun we had entertaining the kids in Brookline last Sunday (November 18). Come to think of it, we took the kids around Brookline a lot this past Thanksgiving weekend as well...

Go read A Grand Day Out to learn how we entertained Muffin and Squeaker locally.
gnomi: (writer (celli))
Last week, [livejournal.com profile] mabfan asked friends online if he and I should take Muffin and Squeaker to the polls with us on Election Day, and everyone came back with a resounding YES to the idea. So, in this week's The Brookline Parent column on Brookline Patch, he discusses how it went, but he also takes the long view of continuing the family tradition of voting. If you'd like to find out both how he has a family connection to a former presidential candidate, and what happens when a preschooler tantrums on the way to the polls, check it out. Click to read Voting as Family Tradition.
gnomi: (writer (celli))
This week in The Brookline Parent, I discuss a recent incident in which Muffin appeared to feel bullied at school. This wasn't something [personal profile] mabfan and I were quite expecting to have to deal with at such a young age, but we thought it might be helpful to others if we talked about what happened and how we dealt with it. Also, Muffin herself asked us to write this week's column about it. Click to read Shutting Down the Bully Pulpit.
gnomi: (writer (celli))
In this week's The Brookline Parent column, [livejournal.com profile] mabfan discusses the phenomenon of Muffin and Squeaker voluntarily doing cleanup tasks that are not required of them while simultaneously being stubborn about putting their toys and other strewn objects away. Click to read Clean Up Time.
gnomi: (frum_chick)
I have been offline since, basically, Friday morning. Sukkot, the festival of booths, started on Sunday night, and we got to have three out of the four yom tov meals in the sukkah. Lunch yesterday was rained out (well, our shul's new rabbi, who was a guest at the same home we were a guest at, asked the question "If this much rain was coming into your dining room, would you eat in it?"), but that's a pretty good record in Boston in early October.

We don't have space to build our own sukkah. Because of Muffin and Squeaker, I was reluctant to accept dinner invitations. So what is a family to do? My solution was to ask if we could use the shul's sukkah, and we were given permission. In fact, the shul sukkah was made available to anyone who wanted it, but we were the only ones who took the shul up on the offer. So I made a simple dinner of tortellini salad first night and a similarly simple dinner of pasta salad for the second night, and [livejournal.com profile] mabfan and the girls and I hosted one person each night (first night was the rabbi; the second night was a young woman new to our community).

Now we are in the chol hamoed of Sukkot, and then next Monday and Tuesday will be the holidays of Shmini Atzeret and Simchat Torah. Our shul is doing some new things this year for Simchat Torah; if you are local and interested, please e-mail me and I can point you to the information.

ETA: The flyer for Simchat Torah has been posted to the shul's website.

All this to say my pants are bankrupt. Please let me know if anything of import has happened since Friday afternoon.
gnomi: (writer (celli))
In this week's The Brookline Parent column, I recap our visit on Sunday to the inaugural Brookline Day celebration. Find out about Muffin's quest for a balloon and what happens when you find the golden egg. Click to read A Brookline Day Adventure.
gnomi: (Default)
Rosh haShannah was, for the most part, good, except for [livejournal.com profile] mabfan getting sick second day morning. First-day lunch and second-night dinner went well. Davening at Kadimah broke new speed records (this is not a complaint); done by 1:20 first day, and rumor has it 1:05 second day (I missed shul due to aforementioned ill husband). The rabbi came by our house in the afternoon on second day to blow shofar for us and amused Muffin and Squeaker.

Now I have to review the haftarah for Shabbat Shuva (as I will be leyning it at Minyan Kol Rinah) and then start making firm plans for Sukkot. Yom Kippur, of course, requires more mental preparation (fasting is much easier for me since I gave up caffeine a number of years ago) but less logisitical prep aside from figuring out Muffin and Squeaker's food.

(Now if I just could get past having to remind myself constantly that today is Wednesday, not Monday...)
gnomi: (writer (celli))
In this week's The Brookline Parent, I discuss how I started having Muffin and Squeaker help me in the kitchen and the types of tasks they like to help me with. Click to read Cooking with Kids.
gnomi: (writer (celli))
In this week's The Brookline Parent, we celebrate our fiftieth column by looking back at the previous 49 columns and what topics most caught our attention during the past almost two years. Click to read Fifty First Drafts.
gnomi: (writer (celli))
In this week's The Brookline Parent column, Michael discusses how we have introduced Muffin and Squeaker to the idea of superheroes and how we deal with the inevitable questions about bad guys and good guys. Click to read Up in the Sky! Superheroes!
gnomi: (writer (celli))
In today's The Brookline Parent column, I discuss how [personal profile] mabfan and I have tried to get Muffin and Squeaker interested in science. I also mention some of the national efforts to keep girls interested in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Click to read Stop! In the Name of Science!.
gnomi: (writer (celli))
In this week's The Brookline Parent column, Michael discusses our recent visit to the Boston University Child Language Lab. Click here to read "Muffin, Squeaker, Lolly, Get Your Adverbs Here."
gnomi: (Default)
Busy weekend:

-- Made pizza for Shabbat dinner (well, pre-Shabbat dinner, since the girlies go to bed right after candle lighting this time of year).

-- Made chicken salad (recipe made up totally on the fly) for Shabbat lunch.

-- Made yummy, yummy potato salad to go with the aforementioned chicken salad.

-- Hosted new community member named Josh for lunch. Squeaker was heard to say later "I like new Josh!"

-- Lunch went long and segued into afternoon gathering with [profile] aunt_becca and her family. Her B and Muffin and Squeaker had a fun playdate in our living room since it was too hot to go out to the park.

-- Early-Sunday-morning wakeup by small girlies led to sleepiness for whole family but did not cancel...

-- Sunday morning playdate in the park with H, son of [personal profile] vettecat and [profile] sdavido.

-- Trip to Public Library of Brookline to take advantage of summer Sunday hours. Spent two hours in the library.

-- Stop for ice cream at JP Licks, at which we ran into a friend.

-- Extremely tired girls went to bed relatively smoothly. ***Note the ironic foreshadowing.

-- Finally gave in and joined Facebook.

-- Watched the season premiere of Leverage.

-- Neglected to either write or knit while watching TV.

-- Sleep interrupted by small girls. Awake 3:30-5:45 or so.

-- Saw sun rise for first time since Squeaker figured out sleeping through the night.
gnomi: (writer (celli))
In this morning's The Brookline Parent column, I discuss the ins and outs of our juggling Muffin and Squeaker's schedule around [personal profile] mabfan's and my work schedule when we don't have our babysitter. Click to read Summer Scheduling Blues.
gnomi: (cookies!)
-- We seem to have two weather modes right now: grey and rainy and in the 60s-70s (F) or sunny but crazy-hot (as defined by Massachusetts standards of anything above 85). Today is the transition day, sunny and not too crazy hot, heading into the mid-80s this afternoon. Tomorrow is supposed to be the beginning of more crazy-hot.

-- I now have my beloved FrameMaker back. Unfortunately, I do not have the beloved arsenal of templates I had at my previous position. Anyone good at designing FrameMaker templates want to give me a quick-and-dirty tutorial (or point me to one) on building templates?

-- Summer has arrived and with it comes barbecue season. We went to one on Father's Day, and now we're off to one tonight and one next Wednesday. Mmmm, charred meat. Yummers. (Since we're mostly vegetarian at home, it's a particular treat to eat your feet in the Mississippi mud charred meat in other folks' homes.)

-- Speaking of next week, it is the annual Summer Week of No Childcare, so [personal profile] mabfan and I will be tag-teaming each other on Muffin and Squeaker wrangling. If anyone wants to come hang out with two not-quite-three-year-olds as we play in the park (or perhaps explore adventures in the area when I'm not in work meetings), please let me know.

-- Speaking of Squeaker and Muffin, they continue to be adorable. Challenging and frustrating at times, but adorable.
gnomi: (writer (celli))
In this week's The Brookline Parent column, [livejournal.com profile] mabfan discusses just *why* he and I are so exhausted this week. (Spoiler: it was Muffin and Squeaker's fault.)

Click to read In Sickness and In Sleep (or Lack Thereof).
gnomi: (Default)
Our disposal has been cranky for a bit, and on Friday, right before Shabbat, it gave up the ghost. Through a series of circumstances irrelevant to this discussion, our building has had to cut its ties to the plumber we used to use (who, honestly, none of us were overly thrilled with). So [personal profile] mabfan, who had compiled a list of plumbers recommended by the denizens of the Jewish Boston mailing list, chose one off the list and called him yesterday afternoon.Plumbing the depths? )
gnomi: (writer (celli))
In today's The Brookline Parent column, I discuss the length of the girls' hair and the decision -- driven by Squeaker -- to give them haircuts. Click to read Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow.

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