Virtual Sleepover

With another wave of Covid here 🤦🏻‍♂️, Molly decided to take her social life into her own hands and organize a virtual sleepover with her friends.

A true self-starter and fully adapted to pandemic life, Molly gave me a small shopping list (basically cake ingredients and popcorn) and scheduled a Zoom meeting with a few friends. She also asked if she could have the whole first floor to herself and sleep on the couch. Hey, she had a vision. 🤷🏻‍♂️

As I put myself to sleep, Molly and her friends were giggling on Zoom. Apparently the only hitch was that the Zoom meeting timed out ofter 40 minutes. Hmm, I was going to ask her if anyone had upgraded to Zoom Pro, but I didn’t want to be a helicopter parent. Live and learn, Molly. 😛

I didn’t get any pics of the actual sleepover but captured some pics after daylight broke the next morning.

Dads’ Spring Break

My friend Joel had his girls for spring break this year, and so did it.  We decided to take our girls on a road trip and, thanks to AirBnB, ended a 14-bed ranch near Fredericksburg.  We invited Claire’s best friend Susie along for good measure.  So it was two dads and five girls, although I often referred to us as seven girls. 🤷🏻‍♂️


  • Late nights (like 10 pm!) in the hot tub
  • Fire pit and s’mores
  • Hearty meals for seven, with ingredients bought from WalMart – spaghetti and meatballs, pancakes, cinnamon rolls
  • A ride on the “mule” to see the neighbor’s baby goats
  • Enchanted Rock.  Molly and Maddie were the first up to the top!  They won on pure enthusiasm, which the other girls lacked.
  • The Pacific War Museum.  I tried to squeeze in some short lectures on how crazy that war was and how cool Nimitz was, with only limited to moderate success.
  • A fudge store that Maddie was constantly dying to go to.  I got a chocolate-covered pickle, because what the hell?
  • The girls’ definite favorite, Earthbound Trading Co, a New Age / hippie store.  We came back at least three times.  Claire ended up with a Himalayan salt lamp, a Ganesh, some ying/yang balls, and some polished stones totaling about $72. I admit I got three stones myself; those things were so dang smooth!
  • Luckenbach, TX.  This may have been a little too “country” for Claire, who wanted to get out of there for fear of being shot.  From looking around, I think we were in greater danger of getting run over by a bicyclist.  Or maybe cat allergies.



Sleepover Days

These are prime days for sleepovers.  Almost every weekend, Claire has a a sleepover.  She sleeps at Susies’.  She sleeps at Emma’s.  She has Susie or Emma over to her mom’s.  She has Susie or Emma over to my house.  Sometimes Claire has two sleepovers in a row and manages to stay awake and be in a reasonable mood on the third day.

At this point, Claire has probably had dozens — even hundreds? — of sleepovers.  They are so easy and routine that I just go to sleep and let them have fun and get themselves to sleep when they’re ready.

At the moment, Claire’s sleepovers involve a few basic ingredients:

  • A friend (or two) – mostly Susie or Emma
  • Molly – thank you, Claire, for being sweet enough to include Molly in your sleepovers!
  • ROBLOX – everyone whips out their laptops or iPads and plays the same game online while sitting next to each other on the couch, coordinating and joking.
  • The Office – always on in the background, and never gets old!

We’ve gotten a little tired of pizza.  Tonight I made spaghetti carbonara, and other times we’ve had, uh, spaghetti, or ramen.  I’m saying anything but pizza right now!

Anyways, these are the glory days of sleepovers, and I love it.  These kids make it so easy!


Selling Slime

Would you buy this for $4.99 plus $2.77 shipping and handling?

12 oz of colorful, super stretchy slime handmade using my own recipe!

This slime features a beautiful array of colors inspired by Funfetti birthday cake 🎂. The beads make it crunchy! This one is so satisfying to poke, squeeze, and stretch!

This is a summer project for me and my friend, so it would mean a lot for you to purchase this item. 😁🌈

Claire and Susie

Well, someone in  Hesperia, California bought it within an hour of it being posted on Etsy.  Claire ended up breaking even because the shipping cost more than we had estimated, but still this was a fun project and a valuable small victory for Claire, who has been obsessed for months with making her own slime.

Claire has been perfecting her slime recipes and has every possible kind stacked up in little plastic containers in my living room.  There’s gooey slime, butter slime, opaque slime, translucent slime, green slime, blue slime, white slime, slime with beads in it, slime with sand in it.  They are all different, and they are all crafted with a lot of thought and creativity on Claire’s part.

Claire also has stockpiles of all the slime ingredients, including a full gallon of Elmer’s white glue, Borax, food coloring, liquid starch, and contact lens solution.

If you didn’t know better, you would think we were running a meth lab.  But it’s just homemade slime.

Claire has sold a few slimes at school for about $3 each, which is less than the materials used to make the slime.  So we talked about increasing her price to make a little bit of a profit, or at the very least break even.  Than Claire decided she wanted to take this nation-wide with mail order as a summer project.  I offered to help Claire with logistics if she would drive the vision for her Easy shop.

Wth this first sale, we learned a few things.  We need to increase the sales price or shipping fee to turn a profit.  And we need to have boxes and packing supplies handy to ship quickly.  Claire found a way to pack some extra Borax to help the buyer re-form the slime if it gets damaged by the head in the mail.

Also, it’s super fun to sell slime!

Claire’s friend Susie is also technically part of the venture.  She wants to sell hand-made fidget spinners for a little extra cash.  So far we don’t have a listing for a fidget spinner, and Susie had to run off to Hawaii for summer break, so it looks like it’s going to be a slime-only business for summer 2017 at least.

I am super proud of Claire for coming up with a vision for her product, seeing a real sale all the way through the process, and caring deeply about the end product and the customer’s experience.  And also for navigating with grace the potentially tricky prospect of going into business with a friend who has a different vision and level of interest in the business.

I’m hoping Claire can include her little sister, Molly, in this business as the summer progresses.  Claire is still flush in cash from her viral youtube video, but Molly really needs the cash.  A few dollars here and there could make a real difference for her!

Way to go, Claire!


Just appreciating a nice relaxed day with Claire, Molly, and Claire’s friend Susie.  Claire and Susie worked on an ongoing slime experiment and did homework while Molly focused on a Trolls coloring book and word search.  It’s great to get out and have fun around town, but sometimes a day at home with the girls is amazing too.

Taking it to the Streets

America collectively gasped as Donald Trump was actually inaugurated as president of the United States.  A miracle did not happen to stop this, and it did not turn out to be a big prank.  Fulfilling an absurdist joke from The Simpsons, Trump is actually now our president.  Otherwise calm and happy people took to the streets, and kids in Claire’s fifth grade class are riled up and talking about politics and now planning to run for office one day as Democrats.  They are totally serious about this.

The girls went to an anti-Trump rally with their mom and a friend.  Way to go, kids!  It’s your first political protest.  And you’re only kids!  Gotta love the response people are having to this weird turn of history.

Molly, in first grade and ever the optimist, says we should give Trump a chance.  “C’mon, guys!  You never know.  He could be alright.”  She is adamant about this point.  Wait and see how it turns out before judging, she says.  I really do like her instinct.  With any luck, maybe she’ll be right.  But so far, it does not look good.

All is Quiet on New Year’s Day

I had a friend with kids over for New Year’s Day.  Since nothing was open to go to, we hung around my place, played video games, went for a rather cold swim in the outdoor but moderately heated pool, watched a movie, and ate pizza.  It was a perfect day!  Everyone had lots of fun.

Claire the Flapper

Claire had a major role in the 5th grade musical play the year.

She was a flapper and got a brief solo singing part!  She sounded amazing and looked great in her flapper outfit.  She’s a natural flapper.  Way to go, Claire!

Here’s Claire with her friends Susie, Wolfie, and another girl whose name I forgot. (oops!)