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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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.

grapes & toothpicks & bandwagons & things

seventeen things on the seventeenth | november

1. Two nights ago, I laid awake after waking up with Anselm–he was back asleep quickly, but I wasn’t–ten minutes, twenty minutes, forty minutes, an hour passed. As I lay there, I heard a snap. Then a pop. then a few second later, a snap again. While I was still wondering what it was, Jeremy woke and went downstairs to confirm what he thought: that the remnants of the previous day’s fire had burst into life again. It was only a very small amount, and nothing really to worry about. The next day I could not get over how a fire could seem to be dead since 9 p.m. but suddenly restart at 4 a.m.

2. Last night I woke in the night hearing another snap, snap, snap sound at intervals. This time it was coming from the far corner of our room. There was certainly no fire to be seen–no glowing in the dark–so I turned the flashlight on the phone on to try and discover the source of the noise. It took only a few moments to see that the sound was coming from drops of water falling from the growing wet spot on the ceiling and falling to a growing wet spot on the carpet below.

3. I’m glad I have someone who can crawl into the attic at 3 a.m. to investigate leaks so I don’t have to.

4. Yesterday was a rainy day that led to a rainy night and a dismal morning this morning. Tonight is supposed to be bitterly cold, and I imagine all the color that is left today will likely be gone in the next couple of days.

5. Once the leaves are gone, the Christmas things may commence. I tried to listen to some carols on Saturday and it just didn’t feel right.

6. I’m sure the season will be upon us before we know it–there’s no need to rush things, right?

7. Tempus fugit.

8. There are 3.5 months or so left in Anselm’s first year, which means 3.5 months until he is weaned, which means 3.5 months until  my first cup of caffeinated coffee in what will then be around 10.5 months. Not that I’m counting or anything.

9. I miss being able to get up in the morning after a rough night of sleep and think “Oh well, at least there is coffee.” Right now I drink a cup and, while I still enjoy it, I have this nagging voice in one corner of my mind that says faker, faker, faker.

10. I could probably just test and see if Anselm is still sensitive to it, but I have not forgotten those days that drove me to cut it out of my diet. I think I’ll just wait until March.

11. It just occurred to me that I’ve got to start thinking about first birthday things for him. Thankfully there will be chocolate cake at his party, so that I don’t have to botch another non-chocolate cake recipe in the name of being caffeine-free

12. It hasn’t really been that hard to be without caffeine, but I do like to play it up a little bit. Not sure why. It seemed like the thing to do.

13. This would probably all be better if you could see my face while I’m typing.

14. As much as I am thankful for social media and blogs and the like, it really is hard to interact with people when all you have are words on a screen. I’ve slowly (and sometimes quickly) been removing myself from most online forms of social interaction–chats, forums, groups.

15. I mentioned deactivating facebook the last time I did one of these, but doing so would delete my photography page, so I’m stuck at the moment.

16. I don’t really mean stuck. I just still wonder if I’d write more without it.

17. I could really use a nap. Or some caffeine.


seventeen things on the seventeenth | november

fifteen things on the fifteenth | october

house1. The weather was absolutely beautiful today, so we went to the zoo. It was by far our best visit–we saw a lion and two sun bears WAY up close. We also finally saw the tiger and the kangaroos properly. One kangaroo had a joey in her pouch. I think I was more excited about that than the kids were.

2. The boys spent a significant amount of time at the zoo walking hand-in-hand. It was sweet.

3. This must be the best time of year for zoo trips. There is hardly ever anyone there when we go on a weekday morning. I assume it’s too early in the school year for field trips. The lack of crowds made it easy to keep track of the boys while they ran around.

4. I just really don’t like crowds.

5. Next time I may ditch the stroller and just walk everyone. It would have been easier to keep up with the bigs if I hadn’t been pushing Anselm.

6. If I go without the stroller, I really need some kind of backpack to keep our gear in. Walking around with a diaper bag slung over my shoulder sounds miserable.

7. I wonder where they make chic, affordable backpacks.

8. My catchword must be “beautiful”. Ephraim goes on and on about how beautiful things are. “Look at this beautiful room!” “See my beautiful shoes!” “Look at my beautiful mies!” There are worse things to hear your children repeat.

9. Another good phrase that’s been caught: Ephraim is find of sitting down with his brothers and saying “I love my kids!!”

10. A not-so-good one: Clive has now learned to threaten his brother with a time-out.

11. Clive keep me laughing with his dedication to copycatting. Today, as I was making coffee, Ephraim asked me what I was doing. I told him. Then I wondered aloud what we should do that day (as I hadn’t decided on the zoo yet.) Ephraim answered back, “Mom, we’re making COFFEE.” Clive dutifully repeated, tone for tone, “Mom, we makee COFFEE.” I’m not sure how I like them ganging up on me like that.

12. Copycat example no. 2: At the zoo, Ephraim was running without watching where he was going, and (to borrow a phrase from Milne) accidentally ran into a bush accidentally, which meant Clive had to accidentally run into the bush on purpose. Being the copycat is serious business.

13. Speaking of cats, Mims now knows that when the boys have been tucked in and kissed goodnight and the door to their room closed, that’s her time to spend some quality time with me. She chases me down and yowls until I sit somewhere and she can sit on me. Every night, as soon as I leave their room, there she is. Yowling.

14. She and Clive actually had a close-to-you moment two days ago. By the time I got my camera out, it was over.

15. I have a list of probably 9-10 things I want to write about here, but can’t quite bring myself to do it. I think the succinct nature of Facebook status updates has made me reluctant to write wordy blog posts. I think I’m going to deactivate my account for awhile so I can drown myself in words.

fifteen things on the fifteenth | october