Sunday, February 13, 2011

Love Bites

So I say to my daughters, "Come see these ideas I've found for making Valentines for this year," as I gather them around the computer. They hem and they haw. They wander off. A couple of days later I ask E if she has decided which kind of Valentine she wants to make. "Well, Mommy, I'd like to do something you didn't find on the computer. I want to do something different." (A girl after my own heart.) She thinks for a while and suddenly, in a grand moment of inspiration says, "That's it!" And what, dear readers, is "it"?


Yes, my sweet daughter is giving out venomous snakes for Valentines. I think they're brilliant.

Marmot Dad likes it when they all face the same way.

Are you feeling the love?

The only problem is that they are fragile--real fragile. We've spent a lot of time gluing tails back together (and someone, who shall remain nameless, blamed me when he glued his own stubby fingers together with the glue).

Those rotten second graders had better appreciate them.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Animal Shelter

The kids have been playing Animal Shelter for quite a while, commandeering the "formal" front room for their shelter. I woke up the other morning and discovered some rules posted at the entrance.
1. Don't do anything to hurt the animals.
2. No jumping.
3. Take off your shoes.
4. No yelling.
5. (my personal favorite) No pocket knifes, smoking, or guns.
6. Only 8 people at a time.
7. No people that are sick.
8. No littering (no staples)
9. No touching the animals.
10. No making caves out of chairs.
11. No playing on chairs.
12. No taking animals out of bed.
13. No fighting
14. No turning off lights at play time (unless the teachers help).
15. No hard balls.

With so many rules, you wouldn't think that the front room would look like this:

But it does. Sigh.

In Which We Improve Our Lot in Life

OK, let's be honest. We live in squalor. At least a quarter of us are unclad at any given time (in case you are unduly worried, let me assure you this is the exclusive territory of the under-five-feet-tall faction). Food is hiding here and there about our house--old, dried out food. Our kitchen utensils are used to dig holes in the back yard and carry the dirt about. And our furniture can best be described as Early-to-Late Thrift Store.

I bring to wit one dining table, made of metal, plastic, and plasticky faux wood stuff:

Pay no attention to that large spot of something on the kitchen floor.

Plastic meets metal:
The chairs are even worse. Let's not talk about their comfort defects but just focus on the aesthetic flaws for the moment. The color. The faux-wood-plastic-backs. The bendy metal frames.
And since they are, I imagine, circa 1952, their mustard-yellow-and-yucky-green-seats are coming apart. Not to mention that there are only four of them (we're now down to three since one was destroyed by the natives a year or so ago) and six of us.
Let's just revisit the table and picture it with the yellow chairs.

Before you get too excited, let me assure you that this one is also MDF covered with a faux-wood veneer, but it's at least a more lifelike veneer. And the chairs (all except one) are in good repair. And it's probably more like vintage 1970s instead of 1950s. So we're moving up in the world.

This "new" one is also a little beaten up--but people like us would be foolhardy to purchase anything new.
Enter in the new era of civilized living.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Dear Reader

Dear Reader,

Don't give me a hard time about not blogging . . . I've been very VERY busy! I have a life, you know. A life that recently included the creation of four (FOUR!) dolls and two plush chickens--that lay eggs. But here's a story that must be told, all about M.

M started reading The Pepins and their Problems a couple of nights ago. I was lying down reading with both girls. M starts huffing and puffing.

M: "This author keeps saying 'Dear Reader' like she's talking to me."
Me: "You don't like that?"
M: "No."

A few pages later, she flings the book down.

Me: "You're not going to read any more?"
M: "No! The author just kept talking to me and wouldn't get on with her story!"

The nerve.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Culture Clash

E, talking to neighbor child: We were hoping to see some avocets on our family bird walk this week.

Neighbor child (clearly a Philistine): Huh? Did you say Avatar?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Fly Away Home

Imagine if you will:

You look out the back door of your house to check on your four lovely children. You see, to your amusement/dismay, four crawling forms, bottoms to you, two of those bottoms stark naked, crawling away from you into the neighbors' yard, stalking the elusive Mallard Ducks that have taken (contrary to their own best interests) to visiting our neighborhood in the morning and evening. This is what Marmot Dad saw tonight while I was busy putting sheets on our bed. I'm devastated that I didn't get to see it myself.

But it points to a larger trend/mania in our home: BIRDS. The kids are smitten with birds and birdwatching. I bring to wit two birdwatching notebooks, produced by M and E, entirely on their own and without any parental prodding or suggestion.

Here's E's Bird Notebook:



black wing (she means red-winged blackbird):

Canada geese:

yellow head (blackbird):



ospray [sic]:

ducks redux:

And M's notebook:

titled "A nonficten Book about ducks"

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Where Have All the Mompers Gone?

M has been at it again. She's launched full-tilt into a new publishing project (drum roll please):

Ta-dah! May I present The End of the Dinosaurs

(Note the open spaces on the dead dinosaur where you can see flesh [decaying] and bones.)
How did the dinosaurs die?
(I love how this dinosaur [inside a thought bubble, no less] is innocently eating a plant, completely unaware of the asteroid [clearly labeled for your convenience] hurtling toward him.)

I do not no. Maybe all the pla . . .
nts died because a asteroid or meteor fell and steam filled the sky for a long time. and . . .
(Note that now our greedy dinosaur looks around, aware at last that something is not right. If you don't know where the meteor might fall, follow the dotted line.)

all the plant-eating dinosaurs died because the plants died and if the plant-eating . . .
(Once again, a fabulous cut-away of what a dead and decaying dinosaur's insides look like.)

dinosaurs died the meat-eating dinosaurs would not have any food and then they would die. And then there would be no dinosaurs!

See our other great titles in this series!

M thought all of this up herself, and as I recall she only asked me to spell "asteroid," "meteor," and "because." She kills me.

Now E is clever in a somewhat different way. Marmot Dad took the girls to school a few days ago. On the way there, E was telling M that a sticker or book or something that M had was stupid. In one of those desperate parenting moments, Marmot Dad said, "E, tell me something that you really like so I can tell you that it's stupid."

Quick as a wink, E answered, "Well, the only thing I really really like is M, and you can't call her stupid!"

E - 1
Marmot Dad - 0