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Posts from — August 2008

Fifteen Pounds of Coleslaw, Anyone?

My daughter brought home a tiny cabbage seedling from school last year with three little leaves on it. I tend to have a bad effect on plants, especially ones in pots. And due to my natural black-thumb, I never expected it to live, which is why I allowed her to plant it in the front yard. Amazingly it lived and the rabbits didn’t eat it. It grew to 15 pounds. At some point, I think we were supposed to enter it into some kind of 3rd grade contest, but it didn’t start getting really large until just recently, and now summer has gone by and 4th grade has started. So we are eating it instead.

After doing some research, I found that these cabbages can get up to 40 pounds or more. Still, 15 pounds for a cabbage is pretty impressive by ordinary standards.

This giant vegetable reminded me of the titanic pumpkins that grow in Half Moon Bay, CA where they hold a pumpkin festival every year. Those are definitely something special and a really fun event for kids.

Meanwhile, as you contemplate all of these monster vegetables, we’ll be busy eating an extraordinary amount of coleslaw. Cheers!

August 28, 2008   Comments Off

Back Seat Out-Takes

Some people may have the impression that my road trips are always perfect…. that we go singing down the road in perfect harmony, never fighting, never getting bored, arriving on time and never getting lost. Sorry to burst your bubble, but I’m as normal as the rest of you.

Even my backseat looks like the floor of a teenager’s bedroom at the end of a long trip. Here’s a photo as proof.

I have also posted a few random crazy moments that occured in the back seat of our minivan this summer….

I overheard this conversation between my darling daughters (aka “DD”s) during a game of Battleship on the road:

DD1: Permission to speak freely, Captain?

DD2: Permission granted…

DD1: You are a dork! (laughter galore)

Overheard game of Mad Libs …

body part: Uvula

place: Oscar’s belly button! (Oscar is our dog)

noun: vomit

adjective: vomit-like

adverb: vomitly!

Vomitly? You gotta give ‘em points for creativity anyway. Makes me wonder how they would do at Scrabble.

I don’t sweat any of it though. Payback will come someday when they’ll be driving, and I’ll be in the backseat with THEIR kids, inspired to write all kinds of stories titled, “Traveling with Kids, or Why Grandma Drinks Wild Turkey“.

Full circle.

August 18, 2008   4 Comments

TV Opp for August Vacationers

Are you planning a road trip or vacation during the last week or two in August? A producer from Nickelodeon’s Nick News contacted me because they are looking for families who would be willing to be filmed for a segment about kids taking family vacations going camping, visiting national parks, etc. Kids narrate the piece and would have to be between 11 and 15 years old.

Send me an email if you’re interested and I’ll forward it on.

On a personal note — My kids started back to school yesterday, so our summer road trips are over for now! Bummer!

August 14, 2008   Comments Off

Car Sickness Blows!

Allow me to introduce my champion of chunks — my darling daughter#2 (Dd2). It’s a little ironic that she is such a barf queen now, because as an infant, she was the LEAST vomituous (I just made up that word I think) of my three children when it came to baby barf and spit up. As she grew older she thoroughly surpassed her older siblings in the heave-ho department. Most of her barfage is due to the dreaded result of car sickness. Poor child… motion sickness bags are her mainstay.

She is our baroness of barf. The terror of the technicolor yawn. A wizard at whistling beef. A trendsetter at tossing cookies. The heralder of heaving. Sweetheart of the stomach tsunami. A goddess at shouting groceries. Yup, she’s in training to be a supermodel. ;-)

We have found many ways to deal with her up-chuck when it presents its self. We try to avoid it when possible using many of these useful tips and motion sickness remedies , but sometimes barf happens anyway. When it does, I am now armed with a new product called the YakPack, a vomit clean-up kit for travel.

The kit contains vomit-absorbent/odor neutralizer, a scoop and scraper for rapid pick up, antimicrobial hand wipes, heavy duty dry cloth and non-latex gloves for clean-up. It also has a plastic bag for removal and disposal, a clear zipper bag for convenient storage, and a barf bag and absorbent lap pad to protect surfaces (although it’s probably too late to use these by the time you need the kit). The odor neutralizer smells really good, or at least it does now before the barf has been added.

Where has this been all my life? (all of her life, rather). It has everything needed to clean up when I’m on the road or in the air, and it fits easily into a carry-on bag or in my glove box. I’m SO excited about it that I can hardly contain myself.

That’s right folks, I can’t wait for my kid to hurl in the car so I can try it.

. . . Is that wrong?

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August 5, 2008   2 Comments