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Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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Going to Port Elgin to visit friends (and do some biking) this weekend, so no blatherings until Monday.

Thanks to Sherman Dorn for pointing out the CNN news article entitled, "Chocolate lovers could save rain forest"! :-)

Thanks to Jodi (the Cool Site WebQueen :)), who told me that Inkspot was mentioned in the July issue of Web Guide Monthly (p37). They seemed to review the business writing section of Inkspot, and nothing else.

Had a UT practice last night. Ate some of the chocolate cigars that Alisa was kind enough to send us (thanks, Alisa!), practiced some stuff for Contata. We have two new kids' songs to work up for the short kids' concert we have..."My Little Sister" (an a capella song by Martha formerly of Martha & The Muffins) and a fun popcorn song sent to us by Gary McGath (thanks, Gary!).

Did some babysitting yesterday. Had both Sara and Annie BY MYSELF for the first time for a few hours. I know this may seem like nothing to you parents, but I'm used to having only one child at a time, or having Ruth around to lean on. Anyway, it went pretty well. Annie seemed to be in barnacle mode, and insisted on wrapping herself around whatever part of me she could reach (usually one leg), no matter where I went. Made walking around a bit awkward, but I managed. Sara is VERY talkative these days, and tends to talk really really fast and constantly. Sara brings over a beach ball so we can play ball; Annie immediately releases my leg and toddles briefly away to bring back a tennis ball, also wanting to play. Sara shows me a tiny doll she recently got as a present; Annie grabs at the doll and starts yelling when Sara won't let her have it. I turn away briefly to get Annie's pacifier, turn back to find Annie shrieking and Sara looking way too innocent.

ME: "What happened?"

SARA: "She fell down."

At this point Annie toddles away and toddles back, tearfully waving an Anastasia video (I bought this for Sara a couple weeks ago).

ME: "Ok, you can watch 15 minutes of the video, Annie, while Sara and I play together."

SARA: "Could I watch Anastasia too?"

ME (sighing, and utterly exhausted): "Uh sure, okay. But just for 15 minutes!"

I plop both girls down in front of the tv and play the video. Immediately, it's as if a giant blanket of silence falls upon the room. Annie and Sara both sit down on the floor and stare up at the screen, utterly entranced (Sara insists I fast-forward over the scary Rasputin part, which I do).
I start to see how tempting this sort of thing might be to parents sometimes. I know my sister and her husband are pretty strict about how much TV their daughers are allowed to watch each day. What about the rest of you parents? Do you have any restrictions at all? And how closely do you monitor tv-watching? I'm curious.

When I left to go to UT practice, Sara had a good grip on my arm when I tried heading out the door. "Don't go, Auntie Debbie, please! Can you stay for supper? Can you stay for just a few more minutes?!" Her voice is desperate, pleading. Yes, I know full well she knows she is manipulating me. But I feel immensely guilty nonetheless. Ruth ends up having to manually pry Sara's fingers off my arm. (She would be prying Annie off my leg at this point as well, but Annie was sleeping.)

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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