Are We There Yet?

Are We There Yet?

Of chaperones, band trips and journalism gods

In a moment of weakness, many months ago, my husband volunteered (well, I volunteered us, meaning him) to chaperone a bunch of middle-school band students at Disney World over spring break.

I was (pretty) confident he was up to the task. What I didn’t know is that he would set a new chaperone record.

Science: It's a girl thing

I came home the other day to find my daughter finishing up one of her many art creations.

She proudly showed me a sheet of paper with a half-dozen detailed drawings around the edges — things like hairstyling, makeup, jewelry. In the middle was the title: “It’s a girl thing.”

Do they really die in threes?

We’re invoking the rule of threes in our household these days.

Not celebrities. Two appliances teetering on the brink of death and a third ready to follow any day.

A girl and her Ted

We have three children in our family: a son, a daughter and a little pink bear named Teddy.

He (she?) has been my daughter’s constant companion for as long as she can recall — and even before.

Teddy has seen better days. He and my daughter are both 8, you see, which must be old for a stuffed bear.

Lights, camera - whoa!

We have hit that stage of parenthood when prescreening movies may not be a bad idea.

A good friend recently invited our son to a movie at the Virginia Theatre with a group of other sixth-graders.

It was “Christmas Vacation,” which I’d never seen, but some classic scenes from the other two movies in National Lampoon’s 1980s comedy series did come to mind.

Help, I'm lost in a sea of paper

I got a reality check the other day from my son.

“Hey Mom,” he asked in all earnestness, “what does our dining room table look like?”

It’s important to note that this particular piece of furniture is not hidden away in storage where he can’t see it. He has to walk past it approximately 10 times a day.

We finally conquer the $*#&^*$ breezeway floor

First, the bad news: the breezeway isn’t finished yet.

The good news: we are in the homestretch.

Family Picks: Calm before the storm

Yes, Family Picks are back! After all the hubub of the holidays it's a relatively quiet weekend in Champaign-Urbana, but that's a good thing in my opinion - one more chance for unscheduled time before the semester gears up!

Still, there's plenty to do, and you can some spend time outdoors while temps are still relatively warm. Here are a few suggestions:

We like to call them 'winter lights'

Our Christmas lights are still up. So is our tree. And I am not apologizing.

I have friends who are super-organized and take their trees down on New Year's Day. They're ready to move on, clean house, start fresh.

I usually reach that point, too - later.

They celebrate charity in lieu of more 'stuff'

Just before Christmas, the Daily Bread Soup Kitchen in Champaign handed out more than 750 backpacks full of cold-weather supplies and holiday treats to men, women and children in need - almost twice as many as the year before. Contributing to the effort was a group of friends who have made a holiday tradition out of giving to those in need, rather than each other.