Category Archives: Sweet Spot of Parenting


Bean starts kindergarten at the beginning of August. I know, crazy early, but so nice to get a week off in October when the weather is lovely. She is increasingly interested in communicating through writing and understanding what day it is. Today after looking at her calendar and discussing various upcoming events, like when she gets to see Granny, we tried this again: Today is Sunday.
Of course, if you pronounce it as Sommertday it might look like this




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Swaddled and Sleepy


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Fifteen Weeks

15 weeks
He is getting so big. His head control is amazing. Oh, and how he giggles. It is just a delight.


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Valentine Girl

Bean turns Four

Whirlwind of events over in our neck of the woods. Our Valentine girl turned four. Yep, four!
How did she go from this:
Bean 2007

to this:

Climbing monkey

So quickly?

There was a party, of course. This year the party was much smaller from years past which, for sanity’s sake, was a good thing. A zip line was installed as a b’day gift and a reading nook arranged in her room. Both were a huge hit with the birthday girl.

Okay, I’m off to photography class. Wish me luck, I’m handing my first assignment in. Somethings never change, I was still up into the wee hours burning the CD, resizing images, and pondering what to include in my contact sheets.


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Borrowing Meta

For her birth, first, second, skip third, and now for fourth birthdays, I put together a music mix for my Bean. I like to think the mix reflects her stage, her preferences, and sometimes a little of where I’m at (the birth mix was for the hospital, it was all me, all the time) . The birth and year two mixes have had lots of play over the past four years, but the music Bean is responding to is changing and I wanted to capture that this year. Bean’s choices are more in your face, more drums (big surprise), more snap, and feisty, pretty much like her. She loves music, and we don’t play enough for her. That needs to change.

You’ll note there are still lots of ‘kids’ music included in this list, because she likes it, and because I’m not sure I want to admit that some of the stuff she listens to if I think about the lyrics. Nothing violent more innuendo and booze, both of which have made it into this list too, but not so she can tell.

So far the playlist is as follows:
Why Does the Sun Shine – They Might Be Giants
You’re No Rock ‘n’Roll Fun – Sleator-Kinney (fav song at the moment)
The Distance – Cake
Yes, We Have Rhythm – Lunch Money (all about drums, percussion)
Sea Lion Woman – Feist
Me Gustas Tu – Mano Chao
Drawing -Barenaked Ladies
We’re Going to Be Friends – The White Stripes
Free to Be Me – Frances England
My Brother the Ape – They Might Be Giants
My Love Is – Holly Golightly

And then there are the last two. A song for me, the borrowing of meta, Present/Infant by Ani Difranco. The premise behind this song strikes a chord with me today as much as the first time I heard it in concert. I think I should listen to that song every day before I do pretty much anything else and maybe I’ll act accordingly. IronWing’s comment in the last post got me thinking a lot about my impression of self and what I want for my daughter. What I will fight tooth and nail for, for her but apparently not for myself. Ironwing thank you for the comment. I’ve thought a lot about it since reading it while I disagree on one piece (motivation for saying I’m not artistic, but I’ll respond soon in the comments) the rest I’m with you on.

Thought I’d share if you haven’t listened to it recently. A good reminder for all us parents.

The last song, Do-Re-Mi is to compensate for the lack of a year three mix. Do-Re-Me was on constant replay in the house, in the car, in the yard for the better part of a year. It is still popular.

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Dear Janet Weiss and Maggie

You're no Rock n' Roll fun

Dear Janet Weiss* and Maggie**,

My not quite four-year old set up a pretend drum set this morning, complete with 'cymbals' which she added shortly after this picture. She then proceeded to 'play' the drums and sing "You're no rock n' roll fun" over and over again for about 40 minutes. The 'drum set' is still in the living room. I've been instructed not to move it. Her drum sticks? Child's knitting needles. I'm pleased they're being used.

Thanks for being the inspiration,
One heck of a proud mum

She has to get her bangs at least down to her eyes so she can do the whole hair toss thing.

I think that musical gene leaped a generation.
* Janet Weiss was the drummer for Sleator Kinney. I think she is in the very last video here.
**Maggie, my dear friend, brilliant artist and absolutely bloody amazing drummer.


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Solstice – Tis the Reason for the Season

There is a wee nip in the air* and along with long nights and short days what more reason is there to warm the cockles of your heart by reaching out to friends and family? Ahhhh, solstice and the celebration that observation and science finally won out over fear several thousand years ago. Well, at least it sort of did. At least we don’t live in fear that the gods are angry and may take the sun away completely from us. However, in true neurotic Tepary style, I have to constantly remind myself that it is okay to celebrate at this time of year. (See last year’s post.)Despite not being Christians, that we get to participate in many of the traditions of the season too. That these traditions are rooted in something much older than Christianity and they are part of our heritage and experience.

So off we went and got our tree last night. I’ve tried to convince Green that we shouldn’t call it a Christmas tree, but he just laughs. Yule tree isn’t exactly right either. I mean Yule was a pagan festival and we’re celebrating a seasonal reality. I tried to get Bean to say Solstice tree, but she wasn’t buying it either. However, I can explain to her why we bring evergreen and lights into the house; that we’re celebrating the return of longer days, the persistence of life in harsh climates, the prospect of new growth in the Spring and the warmth of friends and family that helps to sustain us.

After reading Dale’s piece again about Santa I’m feeling just dandy about indulging Bean the Santa fantasy. A little bit of make-believe that accompanies a general feeling of goodwill, reaching out to loved ones well I’m okay with that. I believe, that playing make-believe and using your imagination is an essential part of development. Along those lines, last week we took a little detour from our road trip and stopped by Williams, Arizona to board the Polar Express. It was fabulous to see how excited Bean was about Santa. Does the celebration of Solstice get a little lost behind Santa? For sure, but we have a few years for her to come to figure that out. Maybe not even that long as she asked me whether I was Santa the other day in response to my saying I had to get going on making gifts. No pumpkin, I’m not Santa. I didn’t go further than that. She isn’t yet four.



As we pass through this season of festivities I wish you and yours much joy whatever you believe.

*I did say wee, it is Tucson after all and it did get to eighty one degrees Farenheit today, but you know we have that crazy high diurnal temperature range thing going on. I’m sure it is twenty below at this time of the morning. Okay, maybe forty nine degrees.

ps. Kristin, In response to your comment our advent calendar is a store bought thing, but I’m digging what Portland Sunshine did, and I see no reason why it can’t be linked to Solstice or New Year rather than December 25th. Perhaps link it with light and plant growth. It could be activities as well as objects.


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