Friday, March 22, 2013

friday book review: stuck

i used to write on here about some of our favorite books we were reading.
then i stopped.
we didn't stop reading,
but i stopped writing.
we recently found a book that we LOVE,
so i'm writing another friday book review about it so we can remember it.

by Oliver Jeffers

Chaos ensues when a young boy gets his kite stuck up a tree. He throws up his shoe to knock the kite down, but that gets stuck too. That is just the beginning of his troubles. In his attempts to knock down his kite he comes up with some pretty absurd (not to mention hilarious) solutions. Each page will leave you and your child laughing and wondering how on earth he came up with that. The surprise ending is just as quirky as the rest of the story.

i love every oliver jeffers book we've read.
i just love his quirky, creative style.
for whatever reason this one really made an impact.
how can you not love a book who the main character's name is floyd!?
be forewarned, this is not a book with a feel good message or a built in life lesson.
it's just funny,
and it will make you and your child laugh.
and we do laugh.
however, i get extremely confused by his use of the ladder.
will loves the lady in the house.
he is always studying her face and trying to figure out what she is thinking or what she is going to do.
maggie just laughs because will laughs.
i think the best ages for this book are 4-6 year olds;
they are in that stage where they question things that don't make sense,
and a whole lot of things in this book don't make sense.
the only thing i didn't like about this book was the font for the text.
it looks like sloppy handwritten cursive,
so it is a little harder to read and would be harder for a beginning reader to decipher.
other than that,
we love it.
read it.
you might love it, too.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

birth order

one thing that makes maggie so delightful is that she is the baby.
part of why we have decided to not have anymore kids is because she is the perfect cherry on top.
something has drastically changed since we got the cat.
she is reacting the same way kids act when a new baby comes home,
except she loves the cat and doesn't want her to go away.
but she tells us now she is not the baby.
"the cat is my baby!" she says.
she yells at people now.
she yells at me to "get away!" and "leave me alone!" whenever i come near her if she has the cat.
she doesn't listen and does a lot of acting like you are not even there.
she pees her pants again.
she even dumped the litter box out and peed in the litter.
i can't say i loved that.
i don't understand.
i want my baby back,
and i would get rid of the kitten if it would bring her back.
many people have tried to prepare me that girls could act like this,
but i never believed that maggie could.
oh, boy, please let this end as quickly as it started.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

part cat & part something

smokey-lala has been a hit.
that's putting it mildly.
i don't think she has been put down for more than 27 minutes since we've had her.
nothing has provided more entertainment for my kids than she has.
not even t.v.
will is pretty sure she is his cat,
and he doesn't want to even leave the house for fear of her being alone or missing her.
proof: he cried about going to the disney store because he didn't want to leave her.
maggie thinks she is the best toy/playmate ever.
she carries her by the arms, neck, and puts her around her own neck.
there have never been more giggles out of this girl
or more bossing.
she bosses the cat to stay in the beds she makes for her,
and she bosses her brothers to give her a turn.
poor sam is now complaining that he has to go to "stupid" school and never gets to be around her.
remember he is the school lover?
the cat trumps school.
i'm smitten, too.
and even pete had her on his lap yesterday.
i'm not sure how a cat could possibly turn out a normal cat with all the attention she is getting.
will has trained to walk on a leash,
and she had her first successful walk this morning.
maggie tries to take her on rides in her baby stroller.
(she hasn't mastered that one yet.)
the kids tuck her into their beds like she is a baby,
complete with pillows, blankets, nightlites, and sippy cups of water.
i'm not sure if she will turn out part dog, part baby, or part human.
i guess it doesn't really matter as long as she stays so sweet.

Monday, March 18, 2013

meet smokey-lala

i love cats.
there i said it.
i'm not a cat lady,
but i can surely appreciate the soft fur of a kitty and its squishy paws and how they curl up in your lap and sleep and purr with their eyes barely open.
or how they claw your hair softly when they are laying by your head.
or how they get so hyper when they get too much catnip.
i guess i just like them.
a lot.
pete doesn't,
but after 11 years he finally consented and let me bring one home.
i think it helps that we have another cat lover in the family.
something about being 5 years old and begging your dad has a different effect than being 33 and begging your husband.
we brought her home today,
and the boys named her smokey-lala vanderlinden.
we call her smokey-lala for short.
she is 8 weeks old,
litter box trained,
a gentle but playful nature,
and has more attention than any cat would ever need.
(mostly by that 5 year old who begged their dad for one.)

everyone has a story to tell

last week i went to a book club where we were discussing a memoir.
i can't say i loved the content or the person writing it.
i had many critiques,
and i wasn't alone.
perhaps i was quite critical actually,
even finding it hard to find some good even in a tragic story.
i have felt a little bit of "shame on me" feelings this week as i've continued to think about it.
we all have a story to tell,
some are better than others,
but that doesn't make anyone's story less valid.
sometimes it's even a great story that gets off track with poor writing style/ability or the words to express it accurately with just words.
i apologize for my harshness in my critique.
i have my own story to tell
and would hope for a little more compassion & understanding than i gave in my review of this story.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

another kind of moment

i suppose we wish all of our moments would feel how they felt last night.
i know i do!
it wouldn't be the full picture if i never mentioned the other days we have around here.
we had a lot of moments around here today,
but they weren't the "amazingly ordinary" ones.
they were the kind of moments that involved exhausted children,
LOTS of whining,
and not an ounce of listening,
or respect.
there was lots of yelling at siblings,
LOTS of nagging mom,
and many moments of being on the verge of losing it myself and acting just like my children.
i took a slightly higher road.
i shut myself in my room and threatened everything that no one was to disturb me.
i laid on my bed,
wishing for a nap,
or at least a break.
i didn't get either.
there are plenty of these kind of moments,
but thank goodness for the ones that offset days like this.

Monday, March 4, 2013

amazingly ordinary moments

i am no different than many moms out there.
our days pass,
fulfilling rountines,
without always realizing how fortunate we are to have what we have.
but sometimes i get lucky enough to  catch a glimpse of how special our normal is.
tonight was really nothing out of the ordinary,
or even really noteworthy.
we had just finished dinner,
and we were all still sitting at the table.
sam started challenging us all to rounds of arm wrestling.
we all happily obliged.
then the next moments were filled with laughter and competition as sam flexed his muscles and tried with all his might to beat everyone.
i, of course, beat him in the beginning just to remind that i am still stronger
(i'm certain that won't always be so),
but then began to really "struggle" ultimately to be defeated.
pete offered to only wrestle with his pinky
but still insisted on showing sam that he was strongest.
sam found will to be a better match.
they laughed through their competitions.
maggie was wondering around trying to find a lap to sit on.
we were all happy.
after the match broke up,
i couldn't help but continue to follow them,
wondering and hoping,
that someday they might have a family of their own,
that they might value time together like we always have,
that they may stay gathered at the dinner table for an arm wrestling match,
and that it might jog their memory back to their early childhood of being in this home,
doing the very same thing,
and that they might feel joy at the memory of such a happy life.
maybe they will,
maybe they won't.
but either way it will be my memory,
stored along with all the other simple moments we have shared,
and those memories will keep me happy.
i couldn't have asked for more in these amazingly ordinary moments.

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