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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Of birds and bugs

Climbing mountains at the park

The other day Peanut and I were in the backyard.  It was one of those gorgeous sunny days and we were watching the birds flock to our fruit trees.  The previously unidentifiable fruit tree of which I will ask advice about at a later time.

He laughed as the birds flew around and I watched him attempt to take off with them.

He jumped, waving his arms around and laughing loudly as the birds took off for safer ground.  Peanut did this repeatedly while I watched with amusement.

He suddenly looked at me in disbelief.  "Mommy, I can't fly."
I could tell he was actually surprised.

"Well, where are your wings and feathers?" I asked.

"I don't have wings.  I can't fly, I'm too little," he said as if he will surely be able to fly when he gets older.

I was having one of those existential mommy moments.  You know those moments?  The ones where you marvel about the existence of you and your little one, at your places on this Earth.  You are amazed to see this little human you helped create.

I was watching his mind whirl over the fact that there was something he could not do and watched as he decided that surely he would be able to do this wonderful, amazing thing when he got a bit bigger.

I watched him as he smiled and ran and giggled and played and I took note of every moment, trying to burn it into my memories.  It is an amazing thing to watch your child exist and learn and grow.

I saw the tiny bug, about the size of a gnat, land on the the bright yellow stool sitting in the middle of the lawn.  His eyes lit up as he discovered this new friend.  Oh how he loves bugs.

In the blink of an eye he was reaching over to it and the sound of me screaming NOOOOOOO! broke the magic of our moment as he smashed it with his finger and stuck it in his mouth.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Celebrating Easter 2013


I loved Easter this year because Peanut was pleasantly surprised to find an Easter basket waiting for him in the morning.  He also loved putting up some decorations and doing a few crafts.

He did not however, have any expectations for bunny prints staged outside or elaborate egg hunts and who knows what else.  This is nice because somehow during the move I lost our bin of Easter stuff and again this holiday just snuck up on me, which is what I say for every holiday these past few years.


Perhaps my favorite part of all this egg business is watching the little ones try and open some of those tight fitting eggs.  

It is awesome.

I might have to glue some together when he gets older.
Or is that not part of the Easter spirit?  I'm not so sure.


The big reward for all that hard work is...... MONEY!

One quarter, one dime, one nickel and one penny and you would have thought the kid won the lottery.


Oh the simple things in life.
Nothing like the clunk of coins dropping into your Noah's Ark piggy bank.

I keep trying to play with the filters on flicker but I think what I really need is photoshop.
How much money do I need to spend in able to get a program that will brighten up pictures like the one above?


Peanut also loved spending time reading through his Easter book with daddy.
Daddy does a lot of fun voices and sound effects.

B had to work (Boo!) so he helped me get the kid wrangled to head to church.
Of course we were already running late which means I made a last minute switch of churches in an effort to find a mass that was 30 minutes later than the one I planned to attend.


We stopped to take a few pictures but really to throw some dirt and get messy before heading to mass.  He picked up a snail in the church parking lot and threw it at my car.
Thank you for that.

We ended up in the children's room of this new church, which is to say that we ended up in a room with no ventilation and 10 other kids, 9 of whom were sick.
There was a box of books and the kids were wandering around and
 I couldn't hear anything and Peanut thought it was play time.
We left early.  I know.  But seriously, I was dying in there and I felt like staying any longer sort of missed the point of going in the first place.


Somehow his sleeves got dirty with I-don't-want-to-know-what so I changed him again before heading to my parents house.

This look says, "Seriously mom, I just want to give Nama this bunny I made and you keep dragging me around and changing my clothes and taking lots of pictures.  Enough."


So off we went and he was so happy to see his cousin.
They are always happy to see each other.
They are always arguing within 30 minutes.
It always makes me laugh.

What I love about this age is that the kids are really happy with their one egg but all the adults are busy calling them, getting their attention and pointing them to more.
It's hilarious to watch the chaos.


I'm still trying to decide if Peanut went around picking all the pink eggs or the other boys picked all the blue and green or if it was just coincidence.
Either way it was awfully cute and very noticed by myself and others which really makes me laugh.

We can have a discussion about gender differences, gender discussions and society expectations later, yes?


Again with the egg opening!  

You gotta put some muscle into these things.


About this time we realized that all the eggs that were pre-filled with other little eggs had a bunch of candy that they couldn't eat in the center.

Bubble gum, Now & Laters and other choking hazard, yay!
It didn't really matter because the kids, or at least Peanut, doesn't really get the concept of candy anyway.  I let him have some Smarties that he ended up spitting out.


We decided it would be better to distract them with Easter Baskets.

Look mom, an Easter gun!

Yes, yes, that's nice dear.  Wait what?


OK, OK it's a bubble gun but still, the thing comes with a holster.

A holster filled with bubble ammo.

These gun and holster sets are obviously not as easy to use and you would think.


Papa to the rescue!

When Peanut was born I said no guns.  I don't particularly like them.
Of course, a child can turn just about anything into a gun.
I often find him shooting things with a backward golf club.
I suppose it doesn't matter.  
Unfortunately or fortunately these didn't end up working well and magically disappeared after the festivities.


I've decided that the ability to find your own Easter eggs and then open them is a right of passage.

It's like moving to the big kids table.


We spent a little time stuffing our face.

The adults do it with dignity, which is to say that we do it one serving, one plate at a time.
We casually go back time and time again, a serving here, a serving there.
The kids shamelessly stick as many cheese puffs as possible into their mouths before they choke.

Fun was had by all.


A little baseball training from my nephew Justin, whose child I am convinced is some kind of hitting and pitching prodigy as the age of nearly 3.

We both met daddy at home later in the evening, with our arms full of leftovers and our eyes drooping from a day of festivities.

How was your Easter?

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein


Ugh, I loved this book.  There is no way I can properly explain the story and I don't want to spoil it for you anyway.  Instead I'll talk about what it was like for me to read it and hope that maybe you'll go out and pick it up to read yourself.  This is also a post about how I may have neglected my child in order to finish this book.  This is why I should never start a book during naptime.

When I started the book I hadn't really worked out that I was in the mood for it.  I had just finished another book that morning and was feeling more in the mood for some fluffy romance with rainbows and puppies in it.  The only reason I started this one is because it comes so highly recommended and has a phenomenal overall scoring on Goodreads (where you can read the plot summary).  Plus I knew there were people at the library waiting for the book and I wanted to get it back sooner rather than later.


About 50 pages in I'm glad I started it.

100 pages in and I am getting that antsy, squirrely, face-rubbing excitement I get when I know I've found a good book.  Have I ever told you that I have a habit of rubbing my face when I get really excited about something?  It must be a physical manifestation of the building emotion.  Or something.  Anyway, I've done it since childhood.

200 pages in and I've finished Part One.  I stop and post on the book club website about how I want to tear through the remainder of the book to find the answers and yet I don't want the characters to go away.  What I really mean is that I don't want any of the characters to die.  Of course, this a book about  war.  It is often brutal, always raw, and sadly true in a million ways.  We know in the very first chapter that she is an enemy spy and she will be executed.

The reason I came to pause at that one point is because I not only identified with these characters, I loved some of them and understood the rest.  It's a miracle that I could look at the evil Nazi bastards (as they are often and rightfully described) and sometimes feel a moment of pity or at least understanding about parts of them.

I won't go into the details here for fear of spoiling things for you but I could have hours of discussions on the character of Von Linden, who he was before the war and who he would turn into during.  Anyway, in the end it doesn't matter.  What matters is that at one point I was so caught up in the war that the sound of the neighbors bringing in the trash can nearly made me jump out of my skin.  That grating, rumbling sound in the quiet and dark was part of the war until I realized that I was sitting in a fluffy pink robe over polka dot pajamas in the comfort of my own home.

Screen shot 2012-12-05 at 3.29.40 PM

201 pages in and I'm squealing in delight.  258 pages in and I'm soaring on hope.

I have to wake Peanut from his nap or he'll ruin his bedtime and I've already let him sleep later than usual.  I tell myself it's because he needed the sleep (which he did) but I suspect part of the reason is because I didn't want to put the book down.  Once he wakes I settle him onto the bed next to me to watch Jake and the Neverland Pirates.  Forget developing brain cells, this kid should watch some TV!  This will buy me some time.

285 pages in and I'm crying.  I'm trying to be quiet because I don't want to alarm Peanut.  It occurs to me how odd it is to hear the cartoon music in the background at the same moment that my mind and heart seems to be stuck in France.  I'm filled with love and terror and admiration and I'm shattered and dumbstruck and raw.

Then I remember that I need to get groceries and vaguely realize that Peanut has watched 3 episodes in the time it takes for me to read and re-read these precious pages.  I walk around Albertsons in a daze because the world seems wrong or maybe it just seems wrong that I'm walking around in it.  We eat Rotisserie Chicken with Couscous and canned vegetables because I'm running behind schedule and I don't want bedtime to go too late because I must finish this book as soon as possible.


294 pages in and I've decided that this book is absolutely brilliant.  I want to read the whole thing again cover to cover and I haven't even finished it yet.

332 pages and I reluctantly finish the last line.  I am positive this will be one of my favorite picks of 2013.  If I had read it last year it would have been my favorite for the year.

I can't fully describe how I feel at this point because it's all too soon, I've only just finished it tonight.

I do hope you read it and like it and come back to discuss it with me!

Kiss me, Hardy.  Kiss me QUICK!
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