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August 2007

August 30, 2021

Let's Get Organized!

Ready to get the kids' closets in shape, organize all that back-to-school paperwork (and prepare for the onslaught to come) and make bill paying easier?

Check out my new article, "Get Organized — Fast! — for Fall," on WomansDay.com. Just click here. Then click on the yellow legal pad for a fun, 16-tip slide show featuring suggestions from professional organizers.

And please post your own organizing tips here in comments. Thanks!

August 28, 2021

Pass the Kleenex — and a Little Ketchup

It's hard for me to believe that my son, Matt, starts middle school tomorrow. Because, honestly, didn’t I just walk down that same path — yesterday?

I remember going on a weekend youth-group retreat in seventh grade and having such a major crush (are there any other kind?) on a kid named Dan that that weekend became a scrapbook page in my brain. (Dan was right up there with The Monkees in my book, if that tells you anything.)

I remember the girls giggling at lunch in the big camp dining hall while the boys turned their squares of Jello salad upside down and wiggled them — and the Jello never left the plate.

I remember deciding I simply must try ketchup on my scrambled eggs at breakfast because that's the way "Dan the Man" liked his eggs. And I remember dancing to Blood Sweat and Tears’ “Spinning Wheel” at the big Saturday-night dance — and then actually slow dancing with Dan (shriek!) while he sang The Temptations' "Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)" in my ear. Yes, Dan, you were quite the Romeo.

A few months later, of course, Romeo decided he was nuts for another girl (an eighth grader...) and, as he was standing outside the youth-group building, hemming and hawing about how to share this bit of news, he suddenly discovered he had other pressing business and ran off, yelling "I have to pee!"

Continue reading "Pass the Kleenex — and a Little Ketchup" »

August 26, 2021

They're Winners at Heart, Too

Wow. Twelve-year-old Dalton Carriker just hit a home run in the bottom of the eighth inning to give Warner Robins, Georgia a 3-2 win over Tokyo in the championship game of the Little League World Series.

In a game like this, it's easy to say there are no losers. It's tough to get to this level, and all the players are top-notch. Yet one team has to come out on top. As a mom, it was hard to see the tears streaming down the faces of the boys from the Tokyo team. They're just a year older than my own son, and they had just played their hearts out.

Then something wonderful happened.


 

Continue reading "They're Winners at Heart, Too" »

August 23, 2021

Family Health Podcast #1 — KFGY 92.9

Welcome to my first podcast! I'm excited to share it with you, and I hope you enjoy these back-to-school health tips. Just click Download kathy_sena_kfgy_podcast_1.mp3  to download the podcast MP3 file. I've written a monthly kids' health column ("Health Notes") and a monthly women's health column ("Body Shop") for years for regional parenting and women's magazines. So it was an honor to be asked to join KFGY 92.9 (Sonoma County, Calif.) morning hosts Rob and Joss recently to talk about back-to-school health tips. In this 7-minute podcast, we cover:

Continue reading "Family Health Podcast #1 — KFGY 92.9" »

August 21, 2021

Just Call Me A Red Hot (Chili Peppers) Mama

Up until today, Matt, our 11-year-old, had been pretty content to follow his parents' lead when it comes to choosing music. In fact, he's a self-declared classic-rock fan, after we introduced him to the Beatles, The Who and Led Zeppelin. (Matt even plays a mean "Stairway to Heaven" on the piano.)

Today, something changed. We just started allowing him to download songs from iTunes, with permission. Out of the blue, he asked, "Hey Mom, is it OK if I download "Snow (Hey Oh)" by the Red Hot Chili Peppers?

Huh?

Continue reading "Just Call Me A Red Hot (Chili Peppers) Mama" »

August 16, 2021

Thanks a Lot, Barry

The following essay ran as an op-ed piece in the Los Angeles Times on August 8, the day after Barry Bonds broke Hank Aaron's home-run record.

Our dog, Charlie, has a middle name: "Bonds." Bestowed upon him by my son, Matthew, when Matt was in third grade, it is fitting. After all, Charlie sleeps in Matt's room, with walls adorned by a San Francisco Giants pennant and a Barry Bonds pennant, not to mention a Rich Aurilia bobble-head doll.

You might say Matt is a fan. While we live in Southern California, he and I inherited the Giants. I did it by marrying Randy, who grew up in the Bay area, going to Giants games at Candlestick Park. Matt became a Giants fan by blood. Who doesn't want to root for the team his Dad loves?

Continue reading "Thanks a Lot, Barry" »

May I Have Your Autograph?

Remember autograph dogs? The canvas-covered, stuffed dog came with a waterproof pen. Kids could have their friends sign the dog and then display it in their bedroom.

A cute idea, but kids today have an even better "autograph" option, and it's here just in time for back-to-school fun. It benefits a good cause, too.

Payless ShoeSource and The Fresh Air Fund have created a new program designed to raise money and awareness for the Fresh Air Fund and its mission to give New York City kids from low-income communities “fresh air” through free trips to Fresh Air camps and stays with host families in smaller towns located outside the Big Apple.

 

Continue reading "May I Have Your Autograph?" »

August 14, 2021

Paintball? No Thanks

Well, I stuck my foot in it this time. As if parenting doesn't automatically present enough challenges on its own, I managed to create one this week.

On Sunday, we took Matthew and a friend to see an independent-league baseball game. Big fun. A beautiful afternoon. Hot dogs. Lots of silly games, like musical chairs, on the field between innings. Good family stuff.

We've been going to these baseball games for a couple of years now, and I started to wonder, "How do they pick the kids to participate in the silly games?" So I asked a staff person about it and before I knew it, Matt and his friend were signed up to play "Dizzy Bat" on the field between the 8th and 9th innings.

Continue reading "Paintball? No Thanks" »

August 12, 2021

Who Wants to Cart Around All Those Scrapbooks?

I started scrapbooking when my son, Matthew, was a baby. I bought those big three-ring scrapbook binders with page protectors and quickly filled enough books to fill half a book shelf. There was just one problem: My only child, a boy, has no real interest in dragging a bunch of scrapbooks around with him as an adult. And If I kept making them at the rate I was going, I'd have more than I wanted to cart around, too!

Besides, Matt is a child of the digital age. When I talked to him about how we might better preserve these wonderful memories, his answer was simple: "Can't you just burn them all on a CD?"

Continue reading "Who Wants to Cart Around All Those Scrapbooks?" »

August 08, 2021

"I Can't Wait 'Till My Kid Can See '_____'"

I have to admit, one of my favorite movies of all time is "Bull Durham." My husband loves it, too. And we're all big baseball fans in our family. We even go to minor league and independent league games now and then.

(In fact, if you live in Southern California, check out the Long Beach Armada, the local team for the independent Golden Baseball League. It's a great family atmosphere, the price is right and you can watch brave volunteers play "dizzy bat" between innings. It's a fun family night out.)

But back to the movies. I found myself thinking the other day, "Boy, I can't wait 'till Randy and I can watch "Bull Durham" with Matthew." Well, Matt is 11, and baseball fun aside, I'm just not ready for him to watch Susan Sarandon's character, Annie Savoy, tie Tim Robbins'  character, Ebby Calvin 'Nuke' LaLoosh (gotta love that name), to the bedposts!

What are some of your favorite movies that you can't wait to share with your kid "when he's a little older"?

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