Sunday, November 24, 2013

Have your people call my people

Jason, prepping the kids for bed: "Our kids have a team at their beck and call to style their clothes, cook, help with their grooming, comb their hair, take them places, arrange their schedule, and provide entertainment: being a kid is basically like being a superstar."

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

STEM start

Dylan, age 3.5 years: "I made a satellite." (!) I asked Jason, "What on earth does he know about satellites?!"

He said, "Shoot, this morning he asked me if Saturn was a planet and if it was hot or cold!"

Someone's going to the Pacific Science center soon.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Everything old is new

Dylan, trying on Halloween costume, mesmerized by "new" gadget: analog radio. He's not alone:

Analogue radio listeners in the UK resisting switch to digital, new survey suggests.

Monday, September 09, 2013

Homework monitor

And so it begins: her first homework packet. So excited about the years ahead! #nerdalert

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Tooth Fairy needed, STAT!

Guess who walked in with a bloody gap looking like the world's youngest MMA fighter? Goodbye front tooth, hello money.

Going rate at our house: $1, though Facebook parent friends say we're way behind on this. I say we're echoing the post-recession U.S. economy.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Sunday, August 04, 2013

Six Ways to Improve Your Chance of Getting My Vote

I’m dropping off my ballot tomorrow. But when my voter’s guide research turned into eye-rolling and copy editing the statements, I was compelled to write a guide of my own for potential candidates that explains Six Ways to Improve Your Chance of Getting My Vote.

1. Don’t mix up their and there or you’re and your.
You’re running for office. That’s a pretty big deal and I get that you’ve got a lot on your mind, like raising money, trying to paint your opponent as an out of touch nut job, and raising more money, possibly from wealthy nut jobs. So this may seem trivial. But do you know how many millions of dollars can be at stake when lawyers representing municipalities fight over legal agreements and the original intent of words like shall vs. may? Words matter. Know which ones are which.

2. Don’t switch back and forth from first to third person in the candidate statement.
As in: “I believe that I am the best person to represent this community. He has extensive experience with a number of organizations.”
I know that in a campaign, writing by committee is rampant and often necessary just to respond to the volume of material requests needed to run for office. But if you can’t sufficiently manage staff to make sure that someone is at least making sure you have a top notch voter’s guide submission (it is a giant piece of free voter outreach after all), why on earth should I believe that you can manage the number of staff and disparate issues that will require your attention if you are to be an effective legislator?

3. Don’t outline what you support and what you’ll do in office by spouting a bunch of platitudes, sports analogies, and generalities.
“I support better funding for education.” “We must have strong growth in our economy.” “I’m a team player, but an independent when it counts.” “I want to improve our infrastructure and build for the future. ”
Let me guess: you are also opposed to crime, believe in clean air and water, and think that children are our future. That aside: what EXACTLY are your plans to affect any of those things? And don’t just tell me what your opponent HASN’T done. Tell me what you WILL do and HOW you propose to do it.

4. Don’t have a ridiculous email.
If you are running for office, emails like this are verboten: harleyrider,, or Actually, any AOL address for a candidate is an instant vote-stopper.
You’re running to represent a large number of your fellow residents and to make decisions that will affect lives. Get an email address that reflects that you actually put some thought into this process and that it wasn’t an alcohol-fueled whim or the result of a bet. That you lost.

5. Don’t spend a significant portion of the voter guide statement quoting or referring to someone else.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s your personal hero, a religious icon, people who’ve endorsed you, some other super popular candidate, or the voices in your head that told you to run. I want to know what YOU think. If I want to know what random others think, let them come ask for my vote themselves.

6. Don’t litter your “statement” with an egregious use of “words in quotes” for no “apparent reason.”
My five year old has lately taken to a rather haphazard use of air quotes, which are the real life equivalent. I find it hilarious, but then, she’s five. You’re at least six times her age and, at a minimum, have 14 years or more of schooling under your belt. Write like it.


Natasha “A Voter Who Actually Cares About This Stuff” Jones

Monday, April 08, 2013

Courageous conversations: preschool edition

Ava, musing while I do her hair: "I really love [classmate]. But sometimes I have to take a break from her."
Me: "Yeah?"
Ava: "Yeah, like when we're playing and we can't agree on something for playing together and I just tell her and the teacher about my feelings and that I'm taking a break. Then later I can go back and we can figure it out."
Me: "Wow. Telling her about your feelings: that's a great way of handling it without getting angry or yelling at her or something. That's very mature. Some adults can't do that."
Ava (incredulous): "Wh-wh-what?! Some adults can't?! But they're TRAINED to do that!"
Me (cracking up): "Yeah, not all of them."

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Early a.m. talk, busy day, dinner was mediocre/reheated, but I taught my girl 6 sight words while doing it, so I count the day a success.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter! Dylan celebrated by getting as close to heaven as he could climb.

We tried to meet our in-laws but went to the wrong church. Any Easter service is better than none. Can I get an amen?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Aroma therapy

Ava: "I love the smell of this place." Spoken like true urban kids. Trying out the new Westlake Park play structure.

Saturday, March 02, 2013

What Saturdays are for

Lovely Saturday: final school visit for Ava, errands, and leisurely afternoon of story time, trains, and dress up.
I'm so accustomed to being on the run on weekends that I feel guilty sometimes when I let go of the schedule or the "should dos'" and just enjoy being with everyone without a task list.
Turns out when I do, the kids enjoy it too. Must remember to do this actively instead of by default. This article backs up my thinking: The Benefits of Family Downtime. Now go forth and do nothing!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Preschool guest

Day off to hang with my favorite girl and her class: read books, oversaw a craft involving ironing crayon shavings between waxed paper, playtime at the park and lunch. 

So cool to see Ava with her kiddie peeps. And one made me a picture! Just like when I was in news: my fan base seems to be girls 5-12 y.o.

Livestream of #sotu from is 15 seconds ahead of broadcast TV. Internet wins once again.

Monday, February 04, 2013

Me, telling bedtime stories in the dark: "Dylan: what did you think of the Goldilocks story?" Ava, from her bed: "Well, it made me bored."

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Say what?

Dylan had his speech therapy follow up this week for tests to make sure his expressive language is still increasing as it should.

Standard range for his age is a score between 85 and 115. He got 123 and the therapist says he knows some concepts that usually don't come until ages 5 to 7. Perhaps like noting that without its blanket, the bear "is naked." 

Tooth fairy alert

First lost tooth! Already?! It feels like she was born just a minute ago.

Tooth fairy visit

Clearly I'm getting as big a kick out of this early childhood stuff as the kids.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Ava asked if she could brush and comb my hair while I read her & Dylan's bedtime stories: 25 min. of heaven. Tomorrow: Harry Potter.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Pen love

My order came! Yes, there is a difference between .4mm and .38mm pens. The latter is my new fave.

Cause of dent in metal broom? Found Dylan trying to use it like a tightrope walker between 2 pieces of furniture! #boyswillbeboys