Archive for the 'SF Bay Area' Category

27 August 2011 Playdate in California

Saturday, August 27th, 2011

I love technology. While Hurricane Irene mostly avoided central Virginia, Sam had a few minutes of “video playdate” with her oldest friend in the Bay Area. Sam and Meri have known each other since they were 1 year old, and even though they haven’t seen each other since they were 4 (sniff!) they enjoyed playing […]

9 January 2011 Another Useful Thing I Unpacked Today

Sunday, January 9th, 2011

A menu (with coupons!) for one of our favorite pizza places… in the East Bay. OK, so this is slightly less useful than the ketchup packet, but the coupons don’t have expiration dates, so I’ll probably keep saving them 🙂


Friday, December 18th, 2009

This November we made a Thanksgiving tree. We started with twigs from the back yard, dirt and twine. Then we added felt and brown paper “leaves.” On the leaves we wrote things that we are thankful for. Sam is crazy about writing these days and insisted on writing her own gratitudes (with me spelling the […]

Halloween 09

Friday, November 13th, 2009

I’ve been neglecting the blog of late because I’m pouring all available nouns, verbs, adjectives, prepositions, and adverbs into the novel I’m writing for NaNoWriMo. As of today the novel is 21,666 words and I need to get to 50,000 by the end of November. These words you see here? Renegades. They’re slipping through the […]

September Craft Digest: A Family Affair

Wednesday, October 14th, 2009

All three of us got our craft on last month. The first rainy Saturday we spent making rubber stamps for our Letterboxing obsession. AC did the actual carving. Here Sam makes us a model for the butterfly stamp she wanted: My tulle tutus for Sam’s little “magical dress-up” birthday party. Try saying “tulle tutus” twenty […]


Friday, October 2nd, 2009

“‘What are you doing up there, Charlotte?’ ‘Oh, making something.’ she said. ‘Making something, as usual.’” Charlotte’s Web has been running through my mind lately, not only because the audiobook is still the daily soundtrack around here, but also because I’ve been feeling a little like Charlotte recently. After Sam has gone to bed, I […]

Our New Favorite Pastime

Monday, September 28th, 2009

Warning: this activity is highly contagious. It involves ink, stamps, maps, compasses, clues, and an internet connection. It will make you look at your neighborhood differently. It will make you get on your knees a lot. You will spend time hunched down poking through bushes, counting trees, peering into hollow logs, and perhaps even debating […]

August Craft Digest

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

Salt dough letters and shapes: They looked like cookies until Sam painted them. Egg carton spiders: We made these when we were reading Charlotte’s Web. We also use them in French class when we sing “L’araignée gypsie” (The Itsy Bitsy Spider). Using the hole punch on painted egg carton was difficult and so the second […]

Someone Who Makes You Laugh

Friday, August 28th, 2009

Tonight when I was putting Sam to bed, she said, pulling the covers up to her chin petulantly, “I want a new Mommy. One that lets me do the things I want to do.” “OK,” I said. And I thought, for the hundredth time today, “Thank goodness AC comes home tomorrow!” AC has been in […]

Just Pretend

Sunday, August 23rd, 2009

I cried this morning during read-a-loud time. It was the penultimate chapter of Charlotte’s Web. Sam handed me a tissue and said, “It’s OK, Mommy. It’s just pretend.” While I was crying and trying to read the words using the voices for each character that I had settled on (Charlotte– cultured, standard American; Wilbur– little […]

Career Options

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

Sam: “Mommy, do you know what I’m going to be when I’m an indult?” Me: “No, please tell me.” Sam: “A cashier. AND an artist.” Sam: “And I’m also going to be a mail woman.” Me: “You mean like a mail carrier? Someone who delivers the mail to people’s houses?” Sam: “Yes! And I’m definitely […]

Back in the Saddle

Friday, July 31st, 2009

After a three-year hiatus I am once again teaching French. You know the old teacherly saying, “It seems like the students are getting younger every year?” Well, in my case, it’s true. These are the youngest students I have ever taught. They don’t remember 9/11. They don’t know who Michael Jackson was. They definitely don’t […]

130 S’s

Friday, July 24th, 2009

On Tuesday we counted 130 instances of the letter S during morning shopping errands. I’m trying the old “letter of the week” theme with Sam and we are starting this week with S. She’s keenly interested in that letter. She may believe on some level that it belongs to her. But it also belongs to […]

Hand and Foot Lobsters

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

Lobsters always makes me think of Annie Hall. Sam and I didn’t try to drop any live ones in a pot of boiling water but in our creation of the crusty crustaceans we did manage to get paint EVERYwhere, resulting in much giggling and hopping and contorting of bodies on our way to the tub. […]

Happy Girl Instruments

Tuesday, July 14th, 2009

While trying to organize some of the clutter in our little house before 14 people come over on Thursday for the first session of Allons-y les petits (my preschooler French class — !!!) I came across this story Sam wrote last month. She dictated it to me and after I’d written it down she illustrated […]

First Laptop

Thursday, June 11th, 2009

One of Sam’s regular questions is: “When do I get to have my OWN laptop?” I finally broke down. Here it is: (Thanks again to No Time for Flash Cards for the idea.) This is a special design. Sam rejected both the QWERTY and DVORAK keyboard layout in favor of ZYKHJT raised to the Q. […]

Sam and the Dragon

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009

Some research I was doing on children’s book publishers led me to There’s a Dragon Downstairs by Hilary McKay and Amanda Harvey (2005). Every night Sophie hears a dragon “rattling through the cat flap, slinking to the living room, growing and growing in the dark.” No one believes her, but Sophie is sure. The story […]

Colors in Nature Walk

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

Once again I must credit No Time for Flash Cards for this idea: take an empty egg carton, paste or paint a color on the bottom of each individual egg container, and then head outside to find things in nature that match the color. Sam initially wanted nothing to do with painting the egg carton, […]

Marshmallows and Toothpicks

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009

Back home in California, Sam has asked to continue the daily arts and crafts tradition we fell in to in the UK. (Thank heavens for craft blogs, because I would have run out of ideas long ago.) The source for this project is No Time for Flash Cards. A wonderful resource for parents of preschool […]


Thursday, October 2nd, 2008

Three years old, that is. Today is Sammy’s birthday. Her parents are happy and proud. At age 3 Sam is toilet trained, she can legibly write two of the three letters of her name (the “A” and the “M”), she can reliably count up to 10 objects, she is chatty and charming and friendly. Also, […]