The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses by Paul Goble

Ivy: “Why did the girl turn into a horse?”

Me: “Oh, it’s an old, old, story and all kinds of magic things happen in old stories.”

Ivy: “Yeah, I think that can happen at Disney World.”

Would I recommend it? Despite (or because of?) Ivy’s odd connection between Native American folk lore and Disney World (where she has never been) this has been one of her chosen library books many times. The pictures are beautiful, the story captivates the kids and it’s got a pile of awards including the Caldecott Medal. I have a vague memory of John thinking it was a boring story but all of us girls would recommend it.

And yes I realize I just wrote a whole page on mini-book reviews not having spoilers but that totally doesn’t count when talking about children’s books! Why? Because I’m the Mom and I said so. That’s why!

Rescued From Draftland: So Sweet…

I dug into my folder of drafts tonight.

I looked way back through pages of half written stories and ideas that never went anywhere. I bypassed one terrible poem and found my way to end of the files. And there I discovered the first abandoned draft of my blog, this fully written post from June of 2010.

 I wrote this at the time when Clara’s food issues were causing havoc with her body and we hadn’t yet figured out what was going on. There was lots of puking, lots of pooping,  and lots of screaming. I knew there was something wrong with Clara but we had yet to convince a doctor that I was anything more than a crazy mom. Ivy was three and unsympathetic to her little sisters high needs. Our entire house smelled of spoiled milk from all the spit up (“Spit up” doesn’t do it justice, it was projectile vomit and it was everywhere!). It was not the best of times. I was using this blog as a way to highlight the positive things in life and I’m sure that’s one of the reasons why this didn’t make the cut. 

But here it is, in it’s unaltered form (though it’s hard to suppress the urge to re-write it) complete with a picture of little Ivy!

It’s been a long week! To begin with, check out the If You think YOU had a bad day post then keep that picture in your mind, and if you can imagine a sound to go with it that will help set the stage as well. Needless to say, Clara has had a rough week, which means that I have had a rough week, which means Ivy has had a rough week, which you guessed it means John’s week was rough too. Don’t forget to add rain and cold to the mix as well!

But lets talk about Ivy and I. Monday and Tuesday, Clara yelled, I took care of her, Ivy got less attention, Ivy was very good. Wednesday came along, Clara yelled, I took care of her, Ivy got less attention, Ivy wasn’t so good. Thursday came along, Clara yelled a bit less, I took care of her, while making a huge effort to spend more time with Ivy. The result Ivy and I are only sort of on speaking terms tonight.

Today we, did chores together, play-doh, felt board, books, cleaned together. Finally after the sun came out this afternoon she went out to play by herself. She brought me in some flowers and I asked to take a picture of them because while she was out there it looked like she wrestled with the sidewalk chalk. I got this picture.

So sweet…
…or not.

This is Ivy’s shut down mode. It is her passive refusal to do absolutely anything, where she closes her eyes and turns into a limp noodle. Oh sure, she looks all sweet and innocent, but I think that is some sort of latent survival instinct kicking in. Without the innocent look, I’d be down to just one screaming child!

Empty Threats

After threatening to stay up all night if one of her sisters couldn’t sleep with her in her room, Ivy then told me that I had to let her get up and color or she wouldn’t be able to stay up all night.Ivy rope swing

Nice try girl.

Nice try.

In other news: Jane told me she couldn’t go to sleep because the trees were cold.

Then Jane told me she desperately needed yet another sip of water for her parched throat that was possibly, but not likely, dry from the enormous amount of talking and yelling she had been doing or there would be no way she could ever fall asleep. Or at least I’m sure that’s what, when translated out of two year old speak, she was attempting to convey.

I said, “No.”

I said, “You’ve already had enough water.”

I said, “You have to go to sleep now!”

Then she whined and complained and got out of bed and caused general havoc while making noises at decibels that were without a doubt contributing to the aforementioned parched throat as well as threatening to wake her siblings.

I said, “OK! FINE! I’m getting the water.”


Nice try Mom.

Nice try.


Perfection Pending


Bark: Stories by Lorrie Moore

I thought it was me.

In light of the events of the past few weeks I forgot that I started a book club eight years ago.  This, of course, was the book of the month which I then read in one rushed sitting in the final days before we met.

Which is not the way short stories are meant to be read.

So I thought it was me.

But then I went to book club…

Would I recommend it? Well, let’s just say it wasn’t just me who enjoyed the occasional humor but missed any greater sense of purpose behind the stories…

They Needed Storm

Yesterday the girls and I cooked a pudgy pie dinner over the fire in the orchard while I continued the after pruning clean up. Things were going swimmingly, (I was the only one who burned herself) and then the marshmallows came out and we discovered a problem.

They couldn’t find a marshmallow stick. Clara and Jane climbing tree

Let me just repeat myself. We were standing amongst 32 fruit trees that had just been pruned.  I was sorting the branches into different piles, ones that were fire wood sized and ones with everything smaller. Small and large piles of brush were everywhere.

And my children, the ones I like to think are above average on all counts, could not find an appropriate sized stick with which to roast a marshmallow.Ivy running in orchard

Their first sticks were short enough to be laughable under any circumstances. But look carefully at the photo below and you can see not only their very short sticks but also the giant pile of branches stacked right behind them.Clara and Ivy eating marshmallows

Ivy attempted to convince me to cut one of my firewood logs a bit shorter for her to use for her next stick – I refused. Though I think my cousin was right when he said I should have. Just so I could have seen her try and smash her marshmallow on the end of a three inch log.

I took pity on them and sent them to a brush pile.

They still couldn’t find a stick.Jane roasting marshmallow

It took bit more wandering in the orchard-turned-brush-maze and another hint or two from me before they came back with sticks even Jane could use.Jane eating marshmallow

It’s a good things spring is here, I think winter may have rotted the girls brains and we’ve got some learning to do.DSCN7832-(sm)

Next lesson: How to find a rock…


You Know Your Kid Spends Too Much Time With The Dog When…

… they start sleeping in the same unusual position.

While Storms preferred sleeping arrangement is upside down in a recliner I’m pretty sure this was the first time Clara slept in one. Perhaps after watching Storm sleep that way so often she just though that was how it was done?

Sadly for Storm her favorite recliner didn’t make the move to the new house so she’s had to adapt her favorite sleeping position for the couch.Storm sleeping


I’d say she’s made the adjustment flawlessly!