***This blog has moved to My Convertible Life.***

Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010 Convertible Life in Review

If you're reading this, please head over to My Convertible Life to keep up with my blog -- I relocated it earlier this year and no longer post at this site. You can subscribe to email or RSS feed from the right column at My Convertible Life.

Given that my last post for 2010 falls on a Friday, I'm giving myself creative license to expand this Friday's 5 to a Friday's 12. Inspired by Adventuroo's year-end list, I bring you my favorite posts from each month in 2010.

These aren't necessarily the posts that garnered the most comments or earned the most page views -- but they're the ones that (for me, at least) capture the year that was.

January: When Your Toddler Poops in the Bath
This first edition of Saturday Strategery contains advice I hope you'll never need. But if you've got a toddler and you ever give said toddler a bath, it's entirely possible that this disaster will happen to you, too.

February: And Baby Turns Two
It's sappy, but what do you expect from a mama whose baby girl turned two? With the second child, it's such a different ride -- and she's such a different personality. Plus you get a peek at how enormously pregnant I was with her.

March: Lessons Learned, But No Easy Answers
This post sums up my views on the political mess our school board made this year. But it also connects today's issues in Wake County to a powerful lesson I learned from my students a decade ago in Charlotte.

April: Singing, Dancing and Learning
Sometimes it's hard to see past my kids' craziness to realize what's really going on in their busy, busy brains. Thankfully, we stuck with Music Together classes long enough for me to get a glimpse. (Check out my attempts to be a Runner, for another favorite.)

May: Time Flies When You're Having Fun
Junius graduated from preschool. And somehow I didn't cry. (For more sappy Junius posts, see the J-Fest 2010 series in July.)

June: Like Mother, Like Daughter
Pippi got her first haircut. It was sassy and she loved it -- and it's not a Dorothy Hamill. (And in case you missed it, my close second-fave post for the month involves a drag queen.)

July: Dating Women Sucks
I wrote a lot in July, partly because of J's birthday -- lots of posts I liked. But I think this one -- where I described how hard it can be to make friends when you're the new mom in town -- was the one I most needed to write.

August: Remodeling: A Cautionary Tale
This post -- modeled after the "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" books -- still makes me laugh. Of course, it's easier to smile now that most of the heavy construction is done. But more about that in 2011. In the meantime, read this post if you're considering any home renovation projects.

September: Pole Dancing for Dummies
Yes, I actually went to a pole dancing class. No, there are no pictures to prove it. (If you want something more romantic, check out my wedding photo instead.)

October: Honesty Is Hardly Ever Heard
This is probably the toughest post I wrote this year. Thankfully, it has a happy ending.

November: Back Away from the Candy
One of the reasons I like writing this blog is because it helps me remember the funny things my kids do that are so easy to forget. This quick story about Pippi makes me laugh every time.

December: 'Twas Friday Night in Lakemont
I don't often rhyme in blog posts, but I do like to wax poetic about my awesome neighbors. I mean, who else would think to turn leftover pumpkins into a Christmas tree?

Thanks to all of you for reading (and sometimes even commenting) -- I love that you're out there. If I've missed a favorite post of yours, let me know. And I'll be working to make the blog worth your time again in 2011.

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Books, Recipes and Strategery from "My Convertible Life"

Really? You're still checking in over here? Come on, just sign up at My Convertible Life and be done with it -- you can add it to your reader or have new posts sent straight to your email (check the right-hand column to subscribe).

Then you can see the three latest posts...

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recipe: The Best Lasagna

Lasagna recipe over at My Convertible Life.
It's delicious -- trust me, you want this recipe.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Story of the Convertible Girl

Want to know why I changed the blog to My Convertible Life?
Follow the link to find out...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The School Board Is Not Listening

Here's today's post from My Convertible Life... click on over to get all the links. And don't forget to sign up over there so you can keep on reading...

I spend a lot of time venting to my husband (bless him for listening) about articles in the newspaper, particularly those related to our public schools. Occasionally, I also vent to all of you. But here's the excerpt from this article published yesterday that finally got me to send a letter to the editor last night:

Kathleen Brennan, a Cary parent, said that while some parents won't get what they want, at least they're being heard now. Brennan is a co-founder of Wake CARES, a parent group that sued Wake over mandatory year-round schools.

After the N.C. Supreme Court ruled last year that Wake didn't need parental permission to send students to year-round schools, Wake CARES worked with other groups, such as the Wake County Republican Party, to elect new school board members.

"Parents are speaking out that they're dissatisfied, and the school board has given them a voice," Brennan said.

The good news for those of you tired of listening to my long-winded rants is that the word limit for letters to the editor is 200 words. So I'll refrain from lounging around on my blog soapbox and just give you the letter I sent to The News & Observer last night:

Kathleen Brennan (Wake CARES) says that while some parents won't get what they want in school options, the school board is listening and giving them a voice.

It's ironic she believed the former board didn't hear parents because board members didn't vote to end assignments to year-round schools. Now that the board majority is on her “side,” she assumes they are listening to all parents.

Yet the board is NOT listening to me, the parent of a rising kindergartner. The parent survey regarding year-round schools won't come to me, although my base school is year-round. The survey also won't come to my neighbors because they aren't parents, even though their tax dollars support and build schools in Wake County.

The board majority acts as if they are accountable only to those who voted for them – less than 4 percent of the county's eligible voters. I hope these board members will listen to all the voices in Wake County, not only those who agree with them. If they don't, they will renege on campaign promises of being responsive to parents – and they will do great harm to our schools and community in the process.

* * *
If you are also frustrated by the recent actions of the Wake County Board of Education, I urge you to write to the board and send letters to the editor -- don't just sit around and complain to your spouse. If the school board only hears from the people who are pleased, they'll assume that everyone is equally happy with their actions.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Will You Keep Reading for Another Year?

When I started this blog almost a year ago, I had no idea what I would write about or if anyone (other than my husband and my neighbor) would read it. So I picked a url based on my kids' nicknames, typed in the first title that popped into my head and started posting.

Now, after 161 posts, 400+ comments, about 3,000 page views and 64 subscribers (woo-hoo!), I've decided it's time for a change -- the blog turned out to be about more than my funny kids and I think the title should reflect that. New year, new title, new url, new template -- but still the same me writing the same rambling range of stuff.

I'll explain the new place a little more in a post later this week, but for now I hope you'll join me (and Juni and Pip) over at My Convertible Life -- the blog formerly known as Junius & Pippi Take the Cake. Might take me a little time to work all the kinks out in the new template, so I'll double post at both sites for a bit. In the meantime, if you're willing to sign on for another year of this, please subscribe to the new site or change your reader settings or whatever makes your life easiest.

Thanks for sticking around!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Friday's Five: Donaldson and Scheffler

One easy way to find great children's books is to pick a library book that you really like and then look for other titles by the same author. One of our favorite discoveries started because Junius likes the word "spiffy" -- our first pick quickly became a favorite, leading us to add more books to our collection.

Here are five great children's titles by author Julia Donaldson and illustrator Axel Scheffler. All have great rhymes and interesting, detailed illustrations.
  1. The Spiffiest Giant in Town: In addition to letting you repeatedly use the word "spiffiest," this book also lets you sing along as George becomes the sweetest, kindest, most helpful giant in town.
  2. The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo's Child: These two books tell a funny tale about the relationship between the mouse and the gruffalo. What? You've never heard of a gruffalo? Hmmm, better get the book and find out.
  3. Charlie Cook's Favorite Book: This clever story winds through book after book after book to bring you right back where you started.
  4. Room on the Broom: Highly recommended by a friend, this book tells the tale of a witch and the friends she makes as she rides on her broom -- and about what happens when they crash.
  5. The Snail and the Whale: This is next on my list -- so fun to have another one to discover! Sounds like it will have all the fun and rhyme of the other books, with an important lesson about how little people can be strong, too.