Thursday, May 29, 2008

Not even a little tickle

When we put our oldest daughter Ellen into the grass for the first time, she was about seven months old. The instant her bird legs hit the ground, she started crying and was only consoled by picking her up. Put her in the grass = cry. Pick her up = stop. It was an amusing on/off game we played at her expense.

Just yesterday I put Annie, nearly six months, in the grass for the first time. It was a warm enough day and there was plenty of uplifting sunshine, so I gave it a shot.

Not even a whimper. She played with curiosity and wonder, feeling the blades between her fingers. If this is any indication of days to come, I predict she'll be the kind of girl who doesn't mind a little mud on her shoes. Just like her mom.

Toads!

I am really bummed that I lost the picture. As I went to water our "extra" sunflower plants that we've got going in peat pots the other day, a little toad snuck back into the corner pot. He was hiding out in there! As ugly as toads are, it was rather cute to see those bulgy eyes poking out underneath the sunflower sprout.
But the camera went kaplooie and I lost the shot.

Yesterday as I went to water the plants, I heard a distinctive ca-chunk in the empty watering can. As you will expect, another toad. A dead ca-chunk-y toad in the bottom of the watering can. I shook him out in the woods for someone else to enjoy.

Rest in peace. Ca-chunk.

Toads!

I am really bummed that I lost the picture. As I went to water our "extra" sunflower plants that we've got going in peat pots the other day, a little toad snuck back into the corner pot. He was hiding out in there! As ugly as toads are, it was rather cute to see those bulgy eyes poking out underneath the sunflower sprout.
But the camera went kaplooie and I lost the shot.

Yesterday as I went to water the plants, I heard a distinctive ca-chunk in the empty watering can. As you will expect, another toad. A dead ca-chunk-y toad in the bottom of the watering can. I shook him out in the woods for someone else to enjoy.

Rest in peace. Ca-chunk.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Egg heads!

At a toy store this weekend, I saw those little hair-growing toys that are basically grass seed sprouting out of a $10 wad of dirt. As usual I thought to myself, "I can do that. I can do that and not spend $20 to grow a square inch of grass for each kid."

And so... EGG HEADS.
Easy activity.

You'll need to chop off the skinny end of the egg. I used a pair of scissors and poked in at the top and then snipped around to create the hole. Once the insides were dumped out and I washed and dried the eggs, the kids carefully drew on their faces. (Toby's is a "masked super hero" if you're wondering...)
Once that is done, it's a matter of filling it with some potting soil and sprinkling in some grass seed. We water carefully and have them sitting in a sunny place.


After they've grown their full head of grass hair, you can actually style their 'do. Add a ribbon or two, give a buzz cut. I think at least one of ours will end up with a mohawk this year.


Have fun!

Egg heads!

At a toy store this weekend, I saw those little hair-growing toys that are basically grass seed sprouting out of a $10 wad of dirt. As usual I thought to myself, "I can do that. I can do that and not spend $20 to grow a square inch of grass for each kid."

And so... EGG HEADS.
Easy activity.

You'll need to chop off the skinny end of the egg. I used a pair of scissors and poked in at the top and then snipped around to create the hole. Once the insides were dumped out and I washed and dried the eggs, the kids carefully drew on their faces. (Toby's is a "masked super hero" if you're wondering...)
Once that is done, it's a matter of filling it with some potting soil and sprinkling in some grass seed. We water carefully and have them sitting in a sunny place.


After they've grown their full head of grass hair, you can actually style their 'do. Add a ribbon or two, give a buzz cut. I think at least one of ours will end up with a mohawk this year.


Have fun!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Bird "Seeders"

My grandfather seems to have his own language. One of his famous words is "bird seeder" which the rest of the world calls a "bird feeder."
But he's really not wrong...is he...

Anyway, here's a tidbit of information for all of us novice birders out there, one of the few that I know.

When you buy mixed bird seed, a lot of the time the birds pick through it and half of it ends up on the ground. Don't be discouraged! There are birds that only feed on the ground, so by sharing the seed, you are sharing the love.

Ohio readers-- are your hummingbird feeders -- I meed "seeders" up yet?

Bird "Seeders"

My grandfather seems to have his own language. One of his famous words is "bird seeder" which the rest of the world calls a "bird feeder."
But he's really not wrong...is he...

Anyway, here's a tidbit of information for all of us novice birders out there, one of the few that I know.

When you buy mixed bird seed, a lot of the time the birds pick through it and half of it ends up on the ground. Don't be discouraged! There are birds that only feed on the ground, so by sharing the seed, you are sharing the love.

Ohio readers-- are your hummingbird feeders -- I meed "seeders" up yet?

The Piggy Bank Blues

I know, I should record this and put a nifty little link so you can all hear it, but frankly, it ain't gonna happen.
This is the song I wrote to sing to Ellen's class while teaching Junior Achievement.
Look out Laurie Berkner...


The Piggy Bank Blues

I woke up this morning
Turned on the TV.
There on a commercial
What did I see?
I saw a toy
That I just had to have.
I ran to show my mama
And I ran to show my dad.


They said to me,
And this ain’t funny.
“That toy that you want
Costs a whole lotta money!
Check your bank
And see what is inside.”
I shook my little piggy bank
But it was empty and I cried.

Chorus:
I’ve got those blues,
Those empty piggy bank blues.
Those lowdown got no money
Piggy bank blues.

I asked my mama
I asked my pop.
What can I do to fill
My bank up to the top?
They said to work,
And they gave me lots of chores.
I cleaned my bedroom, washed the dishes
Even vacuumed up the floors.

Chorus

When I was done,
They said, “now kid,
It’s time to pay you for all
The work that you did”
They gave me money!
Yippee, hooray, oh boy!
I went right to the store
And I bought myself that toy.

When I got home
I had some change.
A couple of bucks
It was kinda strange.
I took that money,
And you this ain’t no prank.
I ran upstairs and put it
Right into my piggy bank.

Now I don’t have those blues
No more piggy bank blues.
I’m savin’ money, and my
Piggy bank is full.(repeat)

k. mcallister5/1/08

Beauty is in the eye of the Ba-by-holder

Brace yourself. I’m about to go where no decent woman and mother has gone before. I’m about to enter uncharted waters and put right out there in words what so many of us have thought in the past but never, ever quite had the guts to say.
Some babies are…ugly.
I make this bold statement because recently I’ve had to work extra hard to keep my personal resolution which is to never tell mothers how cute their babies are. Last week, I spent a morning with some friends and their babies, who are actually very cute, and I couldn’t help myself but to let a couple of “now that’s a cute kid” fly. But not all babies are so good looking, and I made a promise to myself years ago to never tell a mother just how adorable that bundle of joy was because, by chance the baby wasn’t so adorable, I would feel awful telling a lie.
It all started when I had my first child and, being desperate for adult conversation, immersed myself in a world of babies and their mother. Baby music, baby tumbling, baby playgroup (which was just an excuse to clean our houses and eat cookies.) And we would all dress our little ones to the nines in their corduroy jumpers and those strange little girly headbands that we put on our daughters so that they appear feminine even when bald, and ooh and ahh over how cute everyone else’s baby looked.
At first I did my best, despite the fact that some of those babes looked like their nose had come straight from Jimmy Durante or had ears that made you think the kid was going to take flight. But after a while, all of the lying was getting the best of me. My parents taught me to always tell the truth.
They also taught me that “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” So, since that fateful day when I smiled and awwwed at the flat-headed wrinkly baby with crossed eyes and nine chins, I put my foot down on all the going gaga over infants. Since then I have been known to make such comments as, “what a cute little outfit,” or “aren’t those stunning eyes!” But that’s been pretty much the extent of it until I broke down last week.
But I now know that whether I say anything or not, and whether I think a baby is unsightly (or if he or she really is) really doesn’t make a lick of difference in this world. For one, the ugly baby might one day grow into that nose and lose those chins and mature into a handsome person. Remember the fine story of the ugly duckling? Perfect example. Or it could just be that I have really bad taste in infant appearance, and wouldn’t know a good looking baby if it spit up on my shoulder.
Either way, it doesn’t matter what I think because it all comes back to a mama’s love. We love our own babies regardless what they look like because we love them for who they are – our children. We love their funny noses and lumpy heads. We love their thunder thighs and chicken legs. We love them no matter what. I can say this undeniably, because I have firsthand experience. Looking back on my own children (although I never put one of those girly headbands on them), all three were scrawny little things with round Polish heads. Little lollipops, they were, but I still thought they were absolutely beautiful. The way it should be.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Who knew God drank Bud Light?

A bit of a religious epiphany over ham sandwiches:

Sitting at lunch yesterday, Toby says, "remember that guy we saw at mr. zoltan's house and how he did that magic trick where he picked up his beer bottle without holding on to it? How did he do that?"

"Must be magic," I replied, knowing full well he inverted the label and stuck it to the palm of his hand.

"Yeah, magic. Maybe he's God or something, you know, all magical."

Monday, May 12, 2008

How I REALLY spent my Mother's Day

Just a couple of weeks ago I wrote about the ups and downs of Mom's Day. I whined about all of the extra work moms have to endure over this exhausting holiday, and even dissed my family's cooking skills.
But for those who really care, I actually had a decent Mother's Day this year.
After waking up with a sore throat and feeling generally ill, my morning (post precious cards and post breakfast, of course) was spent in the tub and the bed, trying to relax and sleep the bug out of me. And it must have worked because by the afternoon I was feeling better. We went out to eat and I pretty much scarfed down everything in sight. The kids were so well behaved, another patron actually stopped us on the way out to tell me that they were the best kids she's ever seen in a restaurant! Whoo hoo! Score one for me!
Upon returning home, the kids and I all cuddled on the floor for an hour of Spongebob, and by the time we got up, Ryan and I must have had some strange renewed energy. We spent the evening doing the strangest things -- he making homemade potato chips, and I sewing a colorful skirt for Ellen.
Not our typical Sunday evening...but I wish it was.
For sure, it was a mother's day I won't forget -- and I've got the skirt to prove it.


PER REQUEST.... THE SKIRT!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Twig dolls

Here's something we did a few weeks ago, and it was too cute not to share. Twig dolls! The photo kind of explains how to make them -- just find appropriately shaped twigs, tie them together with pipe cleaners, and add accessories depending on what you find outdoors. we made these fairly early in the spring, but I can imagine wildflower skirts, acorn hats, dandilion heads, etc.

A great nature/creativity craft!

Twig dolls

Here's something we did a few weeks ago, and it was too cute not to share. Twig dolls! The photo kind of explains how to make them -- just find appropriately shaped twigs, tie them together with pipe cleaners, and add accessories depending on what you find outdoors. we made these fairly early in the spring, but I can imagine wildflower skirts, acorn hats, dandilion heads, etc.

A great nature/creativity craft!

Sunflower House...take one

I've always wanted to try this. It just sounds too neat to be true.

To make your own sunflower house, plant giant sunflowers in a large circle. When they grow tall, you can "go inside" your very own house made of sunflowers!

There are some neat children's books that tell the story, including "Sunflower House" by Eve Bunting. The original book, "Sunflower Houses: Inspiration from the Garden -- A Book for Children and Their Grown Ups" is by Sharon Lovejoy (who I've recently come to know as a very nice person!!!

Here are some photos from our attempt this year. Anyone ever try this and have success?

Sunflower House...take one

I've always wanted to try this. It just sounds too neat to be true.

To make your own sunflower house, plant giant sunflowers in a large circle. When they grow tall, you can "go inside" your very own house made of sunflowers!

There are some neat children's books that tell the story, including "Sunflower House" by Eve Bunting. The original book, "Sunflower Houses: Inspiration from the Garden -- A Book for Children and Their Grown Ups" is by Sharon Lovejoy (who I've recently come to know as a very nice person!!!

Here are some photos from our attempt this year. Anyone ever try this and have success?

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

A few words on the invention of Mother’s Day

As far as holidays go, I’d venture to say that most were created by a man. On Christmas we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, a man. Easter commemorates the rising of Jesus, again, a man. The Fourth of July is an observation of a new government that was mostly, you guessed it, men. And even Father’s Day, the day when we all treat dad like royalty? Yep, pretty sure that some guy made up that one, too.
But if there were ever a holiday that was most certainly created by a man, it’d be Mother’s Day.
Now, if you are a man and you are reading this, you are probably thinking to yourself, “oh yes, we men love our mothers and our wives, and we certainly want to celebrate the wonderful things they do for us and all that they mean to us, and of course we created the holiday as a day of honor.”
And if you’re a woman reading this, you’re probably thinking, “gee, she’s on to something! No woman in her right mind would create a holiday that would require so much work, stress, sweat, and overcooked scrambled eggs.”
Let me explain this to all of the men out there. As far as mothers go, most of us have mothers of our own. Not only our own mothers, but some of us even have mother-in-laws. And grandmothers. And for us lucky ones, multiple grandmothers. And somewhere in our wedding vows when we were all too emotional to pay attention, we somehow promised that we would bear children, love our husbands, and take care of all holiday celebrations until death do us part.
So come the second Sunday in May, we are required by that vow to manage celebrating and honoring all of our mothers, on a day when most of us could use a break and a little honoring ourselves.
Still confused as to why most mothers think Mother’s Day should be wiped off our calendars and out of our card shop shelves? Still don’t understand how no woman in her right mind would create such a complicated and distressing holiday? I may best be able to convey it in anecdote. Here is a characteristic Mother’s Day for a mother such as myself…
6:30 AM. Get woken up by the baby.
7:30 AM. Told to go back to sleep because the kids (ages 4 and 6 with mediocre culinary skills matched only by their father) are going to make breakfast in bed (ie. Scrambled eggs with bits of shell and toast with two pounds of butter.) Open homemade cards.
8:00 AM. Start the day by wrapping the gifts for all of the mothers in my life, bribing the kids with gum so that they’ll sign the card nicely (instead of writing POOP), and start preparing the Mother’s Day dinner that somehow I got conned into hosting at my house.
9:00 AM. Bribe the kids with more gum to help me clean the house. Have to wash the dishes from my breakfast in bed. Call all of the grandmothers, give holiday wishes, and hope that I put their cards in the mail early enough.
1:00 PM. Host a dinner party for one set of parents to celebrate that mother and the wonderful things she does and is.
3:30 PM. Drive an hour to visit my other mother, and celebrate her.
7:30 PM. Arrive home, feed kids bed-time snacks, give baths, read books, sing lullabies, put to bed.
8:30 PM. Clean kitchen from 1:00 PM dinner party.
10:00 PM. Lay on the couch, re-read precious homemade cards, begin to dread Father’s Day, and fall fast asleep.
Happy Mother’s Day, girls!

Bring on the butterflies

Once the load of dirt comes in, we are going to plant a patch of habitat in our backyard, in a little spot near the woodsline where the sunlight sneaks between the woods and the house. I have a few packs of seeds from the Ohio Department of Nature Resources that I received at last year's Becoming an Ohio Outdoors Woman. If they actually grow, I will have a small plot of flowers that will provide nectar for hummingbirds and butterflies, and I've got my fingers crossed.
There is something special about watching a hummingbird and the way it hovers, or the erratic flight of the butterfly. When these amazing creatures cross your path, you can't help but consider yourself lucky. They're not a common sight.
But just think if more people planted a small patch of habitiat -- maybe it would be a common sight, and how wonderful that would be!
So plant your habitat, folks! Here are some seed ideas that are included in my pack, but you can easily pick them up individually:
Cosmos
Zinnia (3' tall)
Mexican Sunflower (6')
Purple Coneflower

Bring on the butterflies

Once the load of dirt comes in, we are going to plant a patch of habitat in our backyard, in a little spot near the woodsline where the sunlight sneaks between the woods and the house. I have a few packs of seeds from the Ohio Department of Nature Resources that I received at last year's Becoming an Ohio Outdoors Woman. If they actually grow, I will have a small plot of flowers that will provide nectar for hummingbirds and butterflies, and I've got my fingers crossed.
There is something special about watching a hummingbird and the way it hovers, or the erratic flight of the butterfly. When these amazing creatures cross your path, you can't help but consider yourself lucky. They're not a common sight.
But just think if more people planted a small patch of habitiat -- maybe it would be a common sight, and how wonderful that would be!
So plant your habitat, folks! Here are some seed ideas that are included in my pack, but you can easily pick them up individually:
Cosmos
Zinnia (3' tall)
Mexican Sunflower (6')
Purple Coneflower

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

More-els


I shouldn't be posting this in a public place. I might have crazed mushroom hunters sneaking around my backyard despite the No Tresspassing signs...




We found a TON of morel mushrooms in our backyard this year! They are popping up everywhere! For those who don't know what it is, it's a funky mushroom that looks like this:


They are unmistakable, and when fried up in butter taste like you're eating sauteed mushrooms on a steak...without the steak.


We found so many this year that I passed them around the neighborhood. Amazing! I can only hope they come back next year. I'll be ready and waiting, fork in hand.

More-els


I shouldn't be posting this in a public place. I might have crazed mushroom hunters sneaking around my backyard despite the No Tresspassing signs...




We found a TON of morel mushrooms in our backyard this year! They are popping up everywhere! For those who don't know what it is, it's a funky mushroom that looks like this:


They are unmistakable, and when fried up in butter taste like you're eating sauteed mushrooms on a steak...without the steak.


We found so many this year that I passed them around the neighborhood. Amazing! I can only hope they come back next year. I'll be ready and waiting, fork in hand.
Blog Widget by LinkWithin
This page and all its content are copyright 2006-2010 Karrie McAllister.