grapes & toothpicks & bandwagons & things

Let the record show that today we made Toothpick-Grape-Sculpture-Thingies.

I may as well confess: I am a Pinterest snob. I don’t typically search the site for kids things. I just don’t. It’s mostly because I don’t really like kids crafts–an opinion birthed partially out of practicality and partially out of laziness. It is also the result of a dissenter’s spirit (I despise The Bandwagon, and go to great length to avoid it if possible. I know. It’s silly.)

That said, I have no idea why this particular craft caught my attention, the concept of making sculptures-thingies out of grapes and toothpicks, but I remembered it suddenly while walking through the grocery store yesterday and decided to give it a go. Maybe it was because I secretly wanted to do it myself (and I did make a couple of things, including a “horse”, that I didn’t take pictures of.) Maybe it’s because you eat it when you’re all done (rather than displaying it for a while before packing it away and then agonizing over whether to toss it after you find it again five years from now.) Who knows?

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Ephraim really liked it. He was quite deliberate, his creations heavy on the toothpicks, and bearing the image of things like porcupines and suns.

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I can’t get over how much he looks like a boy and not a baby.

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This one was a sun.

He then had to take a picture of his creation:

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Clive was the more abstract of the pair. He mostly employed his time with eating the medium, though occasionally he would stick a toothpick in a grape and announce, “I made a potato*!” or “I made a monster truck!”

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He’s so deep, man.

Then of course, he had to take a break from eating…I mean, creating…for some additional refreshment:

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Have you ever noticed how “eating” is hidden in the word “creating”? I didn’t until just now.

And then: “Look! I’m a cake!”

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Deep.

Oh Clive, I love you.

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*He has been talking a lot about potatoes lately. I think it’s because we’ve been reading Vachel Lindsay’s The Potatoes’ Dance before bed.

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grapes & toothpicks & bandwagons & things

fourteen months

Anselm turned Fourteen Months on May the seventh. My camera was in the shop, and I entertained the idea of just using phone pictures for his post, but in the end I decided to just wait until the camera was back in my hands and I could take “real pictures.”

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His hair is getting longer, longer, and flippier and flippier. It doesn’t really seem to actually curl, but I keep letting it grow in the hopes that someday it will magically turn into ringlets. (It does, at least, have substantial wave to it, which means 1) he doesn’t have my hair at all, and 2) his Baby Mullet doesn’t really look like a mullet at all. He is, however, frequently mistaken for a girl because he does not have the same haircut as the other boys.

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He is really coming into his own Look, which still doesn’t look like much of anyone to us, although he does have a lot of Ephraim’s mannerisms, and a lot of Clive’s reluctances. His will and his personality are shining through that baby sweetness, and we have begun to have our first real clashes of will. I am happy to report that they were not as difficult as my first power struggles with Clive.

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He has five teeth, almost six–he gets around by slithering about on his belly (army crawling) and by whining until someone gives him their hands and helps him wobbly-walk around. I had really, really hoped that he wouldn’t be a really late walker like Clive, but it looks like I’m out of luck. I’m just glad Ephraim came first and was “normal”, so I wouldn’t wonder that I’m doing something terribly wrong.

The other day I had him on my lap while I called to Clive: “Clive, Clive!” And he echoed, to himself, each of my calls, “Kye, Kye…” I managed to get him to repeat Mama, Daddy, Kitty, and Ephraim as well before he caught on to what I was doing and clammed up. He really abhors doing things on command. Even though he is perfectly capable of telling everyone goodnight, he won’t do it until we’ve all given up and I’ve walked him out of the room. Likewise, when I make him laugh by kissing the teddy bear, then hold the bear for him to kiss (which he does,) then try to kiss him myself, he promptly turns his head and won’t do it.

I think he’s an Evil Genius and he’s probably totally faking not being able to walk.

We should call him Dr. Mo instead of Mr. Mo.

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He still prefers his loopy, squealy sounds to most words, and will occasionally “repeat” something you’ve said in his own noodley vernacular, grinning to himself like he’s made a secret joke.

He loves his books, and has learned not to grab them out of my hands until the story is done. He sits quietly for longer books than I remember Clive doing at this age. But really, I’m a little sad to say that I don’t remember much about Clive at this age as I was too sick with Anselm. That is something I am determined to appreciate about this age with Anselm–it’s been the first time I’ve had a fourteen-month-old and haven’t been preparing for another baby.

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For about ten days of the last month he initiated a new bedtime routine where I would turn on his noise machine, and he would immediately lie against me, cuddling his blanket and sucking his thumb. He would sit like that for a long time, until I got him up or he sat up himself and was ready to go to bed. It was very sweet while it lasted. Then one day, a few days ago, he just stopped. Who knows?

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He is a stinker. He’s my stinker. Happy Fourteen Months, Dr. Mo.

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Each December for the past five years, we’ve been blessed with the use of a veritable Cabin In The Woods for a weekend getaway. The first year it was just us, then the second I was nearing the end of my pregnancy with Ephraim. Each visit has seen our family expand and grow. It’s been an eventful five years.

Usually we spend the weekend enjoying the winter feel of the place–sitting by the fire, watching Christmas films, cooking and eating an embarrassing amount of food, and watching HGTV while the kids nap (hey, I only get to do that twice a year, so it’s a real treat.) This year, the freezing overnight temperatures gave way to afternoons in the 60s, so we made our way down to the river for a while.

GrandMaggie stayed in the cabin while Anselm napped, but the rest of us climbed the winding staircase down the hill and to the water.

From a photography standpoint, it was sort of a nightmare (full sun next to water) and from a mother’s standpoint, it was nerve-wracking (two small children on slippery rocks next to moving water). Despite all that, it really was a beautiful spot and the temperature was perfect.

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a woodsy walk, v. 4.21.13 :: {personal}

It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon, and we had just spent the last couple of hours listening to Elder Muse chatter through his nap.

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We should go somewhere,” I said.
So we did; I packed a dinner for the kids, and we went someplace we haven’t been in a while.

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We knew this place seven years ago, when we first moved to the city, and had friends that worked in the complex. Back then, this little spot was not much, and the building that now houses the coffee shop was, as I recall, abandoned and about to be condemned.

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Thankfully, someone had a better plan for it.

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While the grills, pool, and outdoor fireplace are for residents of the community, the coffee shop is open to the public; visiting affords you the right to meander the breathtaking grounds. Trees, flowers, ferns, rock cliffs, winding paths and the Chattahoochee.

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This could be our backyard,” I say. He agrees, and we both start dreaming. That’s the one big part of our house that we’ve not quite begun work on, yet. We don’t have a river, but we do have a creek.

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We all slept better for our excursion, last night.

a woodsy walk, v. 4.21.13 :: {personal}

clive and mims: a love story :: {personal}

Strange companions I must name them
Strange to see their friendship blossom
When she hated little persons,
Or–at least–the ones that toddled.

Long his brother she avoided,
Once he set to crawl and holler–
Once his interest fixed upon her–
Never mind his gentle nature.

But the younger one she shadowed,
Sought him out wherever he rested,
Longed to partake in his rituals,
Photobombed his monthly pictures.

She was here for years before him,
Watched his heralded homecoming.
Many months he passed in ignorance,
Without knowing she existed.

Now he sits upon the carpet
Busy with his toy-inspection;
She will be his close companion
Even though he fuss, and push her.

How is it her patience lingers
While he pulls her tail and whiskers,
While his hands are full of cat-fur,
Laughing at the way it tickles?

Faithfully she waits beside him–
Or sits on him, if he lets her–
‘Till his Mama comes to get him,
Takes him upstairs for his naptime.

Do they know the bond between them?
Can each understand the other?
Does she know when he’ll return, and
Does she miss him while he’s napping?

Does he realize he lacks
Her furry, feline, loyal presence?
Does he hope, while sleep is coming,
She’ll be there when he awakens?

Softly down the stairs he’s carried,
Sweetly starts excited babbling;
Swiftly from her seat she hastens,
Just to sit beside his Boppy.

Solemnly the hours are passing
While they sit and smile together,
Theirs a love that’s fit for lasting–
(‘Til he learns to crawl and holler.)

-e g allis

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clive and mims: a love story :: {personal}