Friday, March 14, 2014

5-Minute Craft :: Binoculars + Spyglass

I made two pairs of binoculars + a spyglass, using a loop of duct tape (Zetta's had blue duct) and a splash of washi tape for color, plus a cord for little necks (or hands, in Zetta's case).

This is how these two, used by Wilder, looked after four hours of play. Wilder even brought his binoculars to Home Depot with Dad. I'm told he received many compliments, but I think Daddy was glad he left the explorer hat and flashlight at home.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The art of remembering


Lately I’ve been trying to hone my thoughtfulness, a quality I highly value but have an issue remembering what with the broken sleep I experience daily + the irregular chunks of time I have to utilize. As any mom knows. The level of forgetfulness is unprecedented and translates as selfishness, I know. Though nobody knows the amount of my own stuff I’m forgetting. (Gobs.)

It’s most rampant as regards my littlest sister, whose high needs for contact and reassurance tend to limit the time I have left. If she sends more than 1200 texts per month and only seven are to me, should I feel horrible? Because I do. Unreliable.

A friend is experiencing a nightmare, long-distance care scenario with an ailing parent and another friend is on the last, uncomfortable leg of pregnancy. And those are only the two within a 20-mile radius.  No longer can I offer to clean or walk the dogs, pick up groceries or run other errands. So what can I, arriving with two small-but-loud tornadoes, do to help that won’t add to their stress?

I can drop off a plate of scones or a braid of challah and add to your waistline in this time of stress, oh yes I can. And I will.

I try to remember your issues and text you at random times of day — often a 6 a.m. start and then a response to whatever you said hours later, around naptime. Bear with me about the delay. Some days it isn't so bad, but either way, remember, I text with love.

Monday, March 10, 2014

What We're Reading: March 2014


  1. This is my kind of comfort food. I started flagging delicious-sounding recipes in David Tanis's newest cookbook, One Good Dish, and quickly realized I'd need my own copy.
  2. We regularly read Good-Night Owl, also by Pat Hutchins, and I found Shrinking Mouse when I finally searched for more of her books. Shrinking Mouse explores the concept of near and far with a pack of worried woodland animals.
  3. Yes, we are considering a backyard hive. I must've grabbed eight different bee books, and by far Homegrown Honey Bees blows them away. Althea's pictorial step-by-steps make the entire process seem not only doable, but simple and even fun. I'm buying this one to keep as a reference for when we get our hive.
  4. I know, Brown Bear is already a classic. But once Wilder started "reading" this hardback to Zetta, snuggled into his arm in the couch, they must go through it six times a day. Clearly a favorite. Zetta even repeats the phrasing to herself while she plays now.
  5. And Zetta's other favorite, Animal Opposites! Have you seen this one? Petr Horacek's (relatively) new picture book features flaps, pullouts, pop-ups and more. A toddler's dream!
  6. Yet another in the dragon line... Jack Kent's There's No Such Thing as a Dragon features a rapidly growing dragon who mysteriously arrives one morning on Billy Bixbee's bed, no larger than a kitten. The more the family pretends the dragon doesn't exist, the larger it grows, causing a few major problems. No lessons, just good old dragon silliness.
  7. I'm midway through A Good American and quite enamored of the author's storytelling. The story follows the narrator's grandparents, German immigrants Jette and Frederick, to the United States and continues telling the stories of their descendents.
  8. If you, like me, are a habitual plant killer, The Complete Houseplant Survival Manual is our salvation in print. I've already saved a dying plant! And I'm excited to try the plant propagation tips to save on future purchases.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

The Menu :: March 9

We've been sick around here, just now midway through the kids' antibiotics prescriptions. 
So we'll be eating loads of toast and sandwiches for breakfast and lunch, respectively. 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Confession #40

In two days of caring for sick kids and a husband, I ate an entire small pie, a la mode, keeping it safe from prying eyes/sharing by stowing it in the oven no one but me knows how to turn on. I'm not sorry.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Why staying healthy is impossible

How often do your kids get sick? Our pediatrician insists that 4-6 times per year is normal for healthy children. Unfortunately, cold season is upon us in a serious way. My husband, who got this year's flu shot, is the single largest spreader of cold germs in our family.

And I hate him for it. Like, really, really hate.

Because I did not sign on for three children. The largest one — the one who only sleeps wherever he goes in the house, the one who took off Friday afternoon so he could "help" me by taking one nap in bed and then one on the couch, the one who sleeps in each morning and takes an afternoon nap long after the kids wake from theirs — that guy can go on home to his own mother.

That guy aside, it's been two long days of the toddler nose-cleansing sneeze, and I am quite tired of boogers.