This Page

has been moved to new address

Fairly Odd Mother

Sorry for inconvenience...

Redirection provided by Blogger to WordPress Migration Service
body { background:#fff url("") 50% 0; margin:0; padding:0 10px; text-align:center; font:x-small Verdana,Arial,Sans-serif; color:#333; font-size/* */:/**/small; font-size: /**/small; } /* Page Structure ----------------------------------------------- */ @media all { #content { background:url("") no-repeat 250px 50px; width:700px; margin:0 auto; padding:50px 0; text-align:left; } #main { width:450px; float:right; padding:50px 0 20px; font-size:85%; } #main2 { background:url("") -100px -100px; padding:20px 10px 15px; } #sidebar { width:200px; float:left; font-size:85%; padding-bottom:20px; } #sidebar2 { background:url("") 150px -50px; padding:5px 10px 15px; width:200px; width/* */:/**/180px; width: /**/180px; } } @media handheld { #content { width:90%; } #main { width:100%; float:none; } #sidebar { width:100%; float:none; } #sidebar2 { width:100%; } } html>body #main, html>body #sidebar { /* We only give this fade from white to nothing to browsers that can handle 24-bit transparent PNGs */ background/* */:/**/url("") repeat-x left bottom; } /* Title & Description ----------------------------------------------- */ @media all { #blog-title { margin:0 0 .5em; font:250%/1.4em Georgia,Serif; color:#353; } #blog-title a { color:#353; text-decoration:none; } #description { margin:0 0 1.75em; color:#996; } #blog-mobile-title { display:none; } #description-mobile { display:none; } } @media handheld { #blog-title { display:none; } #description { display:none; } #blog-mobile-title { display:block; margin:0 0 .5em; font:250%/1.4em Georgia,Serif; color:#353; } #blog-mobile-title a { color:#353; text-decoration:none; } #description-mobile { display:block; margin:0 0 1.75em; color:#996; } } /* Links ----------------------------------------------- */ a:link { color:#488; } a:visited { color:#885; } a:hover { color:#000; } a img { border-width:0; } /* Posts ----------------------------------------------- */ .date-header { margin:0 0 .75em; padding-bottom:.35em; border-bottom:1px dotted #9b9; font:95%/1.4em Georgia,Serif; text-transform:uppercase; letter-spacing:.3em; color:#663; } .post { margin:0 0 2.5em; line-height:1.6em; } .post-title { margin:.25em 0; font:bold 130%/1.4em Georgia,Serif; color:#333; } .post-title a, .post-title strong { background:url("") no-repeat 0 .25em; display:block; color:#333; text-decoration:none; padding:0 0 1px 45px; } .post-title a:hover { color:#000; } .post p { margin:0 0 .75em; } { margin:0; text-align:right; } em { display:block; float:left; text-align:left; font-style:normal; color:#996; } a.comment-link { /* IE5.0/Win doesn't apply padding to inline elements, so we hide these two declarations from it */ background/* */:/**/url("") no-repeat 0 .25em; padding-left:15px; } html>body a.comment-link { /* Respecified, for IE5/Mac's benefit */ background:url("") no-repeat 0 .25em; padding-left:15px; } .post img { margin:0 0 5px 0; padding:4px; border:1px solid #cca; } /* Comments ----------------------------------------------- */ #comments { margin:0; } #comments h4 { margin:0 0 10px; border-top:1px dotted #9b9; padding-top:.5em; font:bold 110%/1.4em Georgia,Serif; color:#333; } #comments-block { line-height:1.6em; } .comment-poster { background:url("") no-repeat 2px .35em; margin:.5em 0 0; padding:0 0 0 20px; font-weight:bold; } .comment-body { margin:0; padding:0 0 0 20px; } .comment-body p { margin:0 0 .5em; } .comment-timestamp { margin:0 0 .5em; padding:0 0 .75em 20px; color:#996; } .comment-timestamp a:link { color:#996; } .deleted-comment { font-style:italic; color:gray; } .paging-control-container { float: right; margin: 0px 6px 0px 0px; font-size: 80%; } .unneeded-paging-control { visibility: hidden; } /* More Sidebar Content ----------------------------------------------- */ .sidebar-title { margin:2em 0 .75em; padding-bottom:.35em; border-bottom:1px dotted #9b9; font:95%/1.4em Georgia,Serif; text-transform:uppercase; letter-spacing:.3em; color:#663; } #sidebar p { margin:0 0 .75em; line-height:1.6em; } #sidebar ul { margin:.5em 0 1em; padding:0 0px; list-style:none; line-height:1.5em; } #sidebar ul li { background:url("") no-repeat 3px .45em; margin:0; padding:0 0 5px 15px; } #sidebar p { margin:0 0 .6em; } /* Profile ----------------------------------------------- */ .profile-datablock { margin:0 0 1em; } .profile-img { display:inline; } .profile-img img { float:left; margin:0 8px 5px 0; border:4px solid #cc9; } .profile-data { margin:0; line-height:1.5em; } .profile-data strong { display:block; } .profile-textblock { clear:left; } /* Footer ----------------------------------------------- */ #footer { clear:both; padding:15px 0 0; } #footer hr { display:none; } #footer p { margin:0; } /* Feeds ----------------------------------------------- */ #blogfeeds { } #postfeeds { padding-left: 20px }

Fairly Odd Mother

Frantically waving my magic wand to make wishes come true.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Hitting the road

When I was a wee thing, I was one of the least athletic kids in our neighborhood which was filled with soccer stars, hockey players and kids who could do a cartwheel or throw a ball far.

I? Could read really fast.

But, along with reading, I could pedal a bicycle and, on our bikes, we were all equal. From Toughskins to short-shorts, banana seats to 3-speeds, a pack of kids would fly around our quiet "figure 8" neighborhood for seemingly hours, until the street lights went on and we had to go home.

When I became a gawky teenager without a boyfriend, I would hop on my blue ten-speed and venture far beyond my neighborhood, making a big "O" though town. I didn't feel so gawky on my bike.

I picked up again after college, riding on weekends and on summer nights, through the streets of Providence, from the north side all the way over to the East Side where I'd ride next to fast-moving cars who would just barely move over to pass me. It was then that I rode the MS150, a tough two-day race which, at that time, took me from Rhode Island to Connecticut, up through Massachusetts, to Vermont and then a skip over to New Hampshire. I did it totally alone, expect for the hundreds of other riders, but I'd long since grown comfortable by myself on a bike, just swooshing along.

Over the next twenty years, I'd ride here and there but when I decided to jump into mountain biking, I almost lost my enjoyment for two wheels entirely. All of a sudden, I was biking with other people, people who were so much better and less fearful than me. All of a sudden, I was uncertain of my abilities and anxious at the top of any incline. I became that scared, nervous, unathletic me all over again.

I tried to like mountain biking but didn't. And then I had babies, three of them in rapid succession, and biking, mountain or road was not on the agenda.

So, I'm feeling a bit nostalgic tonight after getting my butt on my bike twice in the past few nights. I love how quickly everything zips by. I love the feeling of wind on my face and arms. And I love that I feel strong and quick and capable on my bike.

Just don't ask me to pop a wheelie.


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Becoming an athlete

My youngest child definitely moves to the beat of a different drummer. He's the kid who played soccer for two years, but would get bored about halfway through and walk the rest of the game. No amount of encouragement could convince the kid to run another step.

He has absolutely no interest in soccer anymore. Or baseball, football, hockey, lacrosse or any organized sport that most of his peers are playing.

Right now he has two activities: Hip Hop and Chess-and-Math class. And, if he had to pick one, Chess-and-Math would win.

But, I also don't want him to think that he can't be an athlete just because he enjoys different pursuits. This isn't as easy an idea to promote when, even by the age of 6, kids are encouraged to try out for sports teams before it is "too late". And though he can kick ass on a bicycle and is thrilled to be taking a boys' gymnastics class this summer, he does have some fine motor skills issues that need work (he see an occupational therapist during the school year).

Late yesterday, we went to a very cool track-and-field meet for kids of all ages and abilities just to check it out. There were heats in javelin, shotput, long jump and then a few running races.


D gamely joined the boys "ages 6 and under" at the javelin and long jump, though he'd never done either before. Then, prior to the running races, they handed out ribbons for first, second and third place for each age group.

When his name was called for "second place: javelin" we all cheered as he smiled ear-to-ear. He immediately asked me for a pen so he could write his name on his ribbon.

When they announced "second place, long jump" and called his name, I saw his little fist pump into the air in jubilation.

There were two more participatory ribbons, in 50m and 100m, though D proudly announced, "I was last! But those other kids were FAST!"


I just love that my overly critical little guy didn't equate "last" with "worst". And that he can't wait to go back for next week's track meet.


Monday, June 20, 2011

(not so) Tiny dancers

I spent many, many hours sitting in a dance studio this year. All three of my kids took dance this year: Belly in Ballet 2/3, Jilly in Beginner Ballet and even D who took an all-boys' hip-hop class.

Sunday there were two recitals. And I got to help get them dress up to look like this:


Be still my heart---who are these big kids?

The girls were in both shows, D was only in the matinee though he danced twice. There were technical difficulties in his first performance that cut the boys off before they could do what all us parents were dying to see them do: Freestyle.

If you have never seen ten little boys under the age of 8 freestyling, I'm sorry.


D perfecting his freestyle headstand


A perfect "X"!

I love seeing Belly dancing on stage because I think it shows how far she's come---anxiety or not, that girl can conquer it and do this:



I love her hands in this photo

Belly has what I call "Tall Girl Shoulders". I should know, I had them too. Her ballet teacher and I are always reminding her to stand up tall and proud, not an easy thing when you are near girls who quite literally a head shorter.


But dance is helping.

And then there is Jilly. When she was three and in a little YMCA dance class, the teacher pulled me aside and said, "she needs to get into a real dance class."

She takes my breathe away on stage because for a child who can trip over air and create so much noise, it's amazing how much she transforms into a tiny ballerina when the music starts.

My husband later lamented that he didn't get any good pictures of Jilly dancing. I think he was too spellbound to put the camera in front of his face.


I took this photo at the dress rehearsal

Next year, Belly will leave ballet for lyrical jazz and hip hop. Jilly will move to Ballet 2/3 and is adding hip hop too. D is undecided but I really hope he sticks with hip hop because he is so much fun to watch.

I must be crazy. I have pretty much insured I'll be sitting in the dance studio twice as long next year. But, it's the day after the recital, and my head is filled with the visions of my dancing sugarplums.

Encore! Encore!


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

Our kids are so lucky to have you as their dad!

Here's to another year of fun and crazy. xoxoxoxo




Friday, June 17, 2011

Raining on our parade

So. . .yay! The Boston Bruins won the Stanley Cup! I'm so happy for my husband who has watched the Bruins for years and years, waiting for this moment.

And now that it's all said and done, he is now excitedly waiting for the moment when the Duck Boats line up and take the players through the streets of Boston while throngs of deliriously happy crowds scream, wave and throw confetti. Throngs that will include my family.

As soon as we heard that the parade would be held on Saturday, it was a no-brainer that we would all go. It'd be the kids first "sports champion" parade, and we knew they love it.

Oh, except that when I told the kids we were going, my six-year-old D went to his room, hid under the covers and burst into tears.

He was inconsolable; I was confused. What was this all about? Had I somehow raised a Canucks fan? (impossible, since I had to look up the spelling of "Canucks"). Did he harbor some strange fear of men in skates? I tried to explain that no one would be on skates, no one would hit him with a hockey stick. No go.

It was my husband who reminded me of our son's hatred of parades. He reminded me of our trip to Disney a few years ago when every parade had our son quaking in his shoes:

they can't see me, right?

I'll just hide here behind this protective rack of towels

For the past 48 hours, I've tried reasoning with him, but every time the "P" word is mentioned or implied, his head goes under a pillow and the tears fall. It doesn't matter that there will be no characters in costume, no clowns, no firetrucks blasting sirens, no marching bands. . .He wants nothing to do with it.

Part of me thinks, "Damn, why should I have to miss this too? He'll get over it. I know it's not scary or dangerous and this is a (possibly) once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Suck it up kid!"

And then I think, "C'mon, you don't even like hockey! Who cares if you go or not? This can be a Daddy-and-the-girls outing. His life will be just as full without this experience--which he probably won't remember anyway---and if it is causing him this much stress, just stay home."

I suppose how you feel about this will greatly depend on how you feel about hockey, but what would you do in this situation? (if it helps, replace "hockey championships" with something that would make you or your spouse super excited and then answer).

And have you ever heard of a parade phobia before?? It's not even listed in the gigantic list of phobias, so I'm not sure it exists, except in our household.

But, it seems genuine, so tomorrow, my paradaphobic (heh) son and I will bop around town, in our small little parade of two.


Make this father's day

Just over a year and a half ago, I wrote about a little girl named Megan with Juvenile Myositis, a rare autoimmune disease that attacks, then can lay in wait for years until ready to attack again.

Sadly, Megan, who is only 11, is again under attack.

Her parents, Kevin from Always Home and Uncool and his wife Rhonda are asking anyone who can spare a little to donate to Cure JM Foundation.

And, even better, if you can donate before June 25, your gift will be matched, up to $3,000.

I can't think of a better Father's Day gift for these families than finding a cure.

want more info? keep reading Kevin's words to understand why this is so important:

Dear Friend,

We have more urgency than usual to our annual appeal for donations to Cure JM Foundation, the nonprofit search for better treatments and a cure for juvenile myositis diseases.

Our daughter Megan, who was diagnosed a JM disease in 2002, recently experienced a flare, or relapse. She essentially had been symptom free for the past three years and weaning off medications until then. In the past month, she has resumed treatment with IV medication – to date seven infusions of steroids, one of the refined human blood product IVIG.

You can help Megan and children like her by sponsoring our family in the Seattle Rock 'n' Roll Marathon on June 25, 2011. Rhonda is running while Kevin and the kids will hand water to runners on race day.

Your donation will help Cure JM continue funding two vital programs that fulfill its mission to one day make sure no child suffers from juvenile myositis diseases ever again:

* medical research centers, which the foundation helped start, at leading hospitals in Chicago and Washington, D.C., that search for the cause and cure for juvenile myositis diseases, and

* online, print and in-person support to educate people about the disease and help families coping with JM's effects on their children and lives.

Donations of any size help as no one knows which dollar will be the one that finally funds a cure. Since Cure JM is an all-volunteer organization rest assured that about 98 percent of the money we raise goes directly to the cause instead of salaries, overhead or fundraising consultants.

You can help by making a tax-deductible donation in one of two ways:

1) Use a credit card online via FirstGiving. Our fundraising page is:

2) Print and fill out the form on this Google documents site at, write a check to "Cure JM Foundation" (put in the memo section that you are sponsoring Kevin and Rhonda McKeever), and then mail it to:

Cure JM Foundation
836 Lynwood Drive
Encinitas, CA 92024

Matching gift forms may also be sent to that address or faxed to (760) 230-2243.

On behalf of all children and their families afflicted with JM, especially ours, thank you for your generous support.

The McKeever Family
(Kevin, Rhonda, Megan, Calvin and Murphy, too)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Hanging on an Ordinary Day

Still alive! Just busy with life, but I did take a little time to chat with Sarah---wanna see what I had to say?

Labels: ,

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

The dog next door

My kids have wanted a dog for a really long time. But not as long as I have wanted one.

There have always been valid excuses: When I was younger it was that I worked really long hours, far from home. And then it was that I was too busy with three young kids. Finally, it was that my two--and then one--elderly cats needed to be let to pass on quietly, without the stress of a puppy in their lives.

As Cally, my beloved 19 1/2 year old cat, took her last low, rattly breaths, Jilly went over to say goodbye, patted her head, then looked up to me and asked plaintively, NOW can we get a dog?

Well, not just yet. Summer is too frenetic for us this year to make me want to bring in another family member. But soon after. . .

Fortunately for all of us, we have had a dog all along, just he's not quite "ours". He's our next-door neighbor's dog, a big black lab named Bailey. From the moment he appeared as a puppy, he has been part of our lives even if we don't house him, feed him, take him to the vet or even walk him. (my husband says he is the perfect dog for these reasons)

Thankfully we have the best neighbors ever who don't even blink an eye when they find one of us in their yard (again) playing/patting/talking to Bailey. They know if Bailey hops his electric fence after a deer or rabbit, that we'll bring him home, happy that he is safe. Last week, Bailey even came into our cat-free home for the first time and I marveled at how huge he seemed in our kitchen. (mental note: I'll need a smaller dog if I hope to keep my food from disappearing off the counters).

There is no question that Bailey loves us as much as we love him. If I call his name, he does the whole-body wiggle in anticipation of my visit, and last winter, after not seeing him for a while, he practically spoke to me as I crunched across the snow to say hello.

And if an unfamiliar car or stranger comes up our driveway, he will bark with the ferocity of the best guard dogs out there. Only our driveway, though, not his own. I doubt he'd do anything to a stranger other than lick them, but it always makes me feel a little safer when I hear his booming bark.

If all goes well, by the fall, we'll have a dog of our own to love. But, one of the first things we'll do when we bring our new bundle home? Introduce him to Bailey to insure that they become fast friends.

Labels: , ,