Archive for October, 2007

forest fairy

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halloween math

princess + fairy + ballerina =
happy halloween!

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two’s company



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Thank you for humoring me and my imagination by participating in the bunny house poll.

The results:

Can you see the bunny?

  • Of course, it’s obvious: 18%
  • As soon as you mentioned it: 48%
  • Not until someone traced it out on my monitor: 25%
  • There is no bunny: 7%

Seers out-see non-seers by 66%, see? Si.

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MAMA: Ava, put your tennis shoes on and we will be ready to go.

AVA: [Run, bang, smash, bang, smash, swoosh] Mama, I can’t find my tennis shoes!

MAMA: Did you check the front stairwell or the back stairwell?

AVA: [Runs to the front of the house. Opens the front door and runs down the stairs. Runs back up the stairs, slams the front door shut. Runs across the house and open the back door. Runs down the back stairway. Throws various shoes about. Runs back up the back stairwell. Slams the back door. Runs into MAMA’S bedroom. Panting] I can’t find my shoes anywhere. They are not anywhere.

MAMA: Okay, I’ll help you look in a minute.

AVA: Maybe they are in my closet. [Runs into her bedroom.] Look, Mama, they are in my closet. I found them in my closet!

MAMA: [Quietly to herself] Imagine that.

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Ava’s preschool had a Harvest Party today. Look what she won:

Look what she made:

Apparently my daughter has a flare for flashy accessories.

And if you think that she has taken her “sparkle stars” off?

You would be incorrect.

And if you were to ask she went to sleep in them?

The answer would be yes.

My daughter knows that dreamland is one place that you don’t want to leave your dazzles behind.

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including DNA week at badgersontheloose.

I was going to close this week of all things genetic with another trait that was most certainly past down, but that would be following through on something I started. Instead I’m going to do the opposite and disclose a characteristic that Ava most certainly did not receive in her genetic package. It has become quite a pressing issue that must be addressed and for which I need your help, oh wise readers.

Ava bites her nails!

Gasp, I know. As far as I can tell this is a trait that was neither observed nor inherited.

But that’s not stopping her. She bites them like she was created to bite them. Her nails are nubs. Her finger tips are pink and puffy. And she has recently developed little sores around her cuticles. All the traits of a most ardent and efficient nail biter.

At first I thought it would just go away, that if I was careful to keep her nails short she would never think to bite them. I was naive and in the interim, she has become more and more addicted to snacking on her fingertips.

Now if a person starts a regular, and by regular I mean nearly every moment, habit of biting her nails at age three, how will she ever be able to quit such an ingrained habit?

I come from a long line of strong, sturdy, and sometimes dirty fingernails. What can I say, we ate jello, played outside everyday, and there was never a biter among us. We had to be taught to clip and clean, not cease to bite.

And while my teeth did mangle a good many pens, pencils, and crayons in my day, I never had the patience to file my nails down with my teeth. And I’ve always been partial to the snap-snap of a silver trimmer. So I feel completely unequipped to rescue my daughter’s nails from her mouth.

That is why I’m turning to you, my faithful readers. You are wise in the ways of many things and hopefully one of those things is how-to-make-a-three-year-old-girl-stop-biting-her-nails-as-though-it-was-her-sole-source-of-protein.

If you could help bring her nail-biting to an end, I will… I will let her paint her nails red.

Oh, oh, maybe that is the answer. Oh, that is a prohibited prize that just might work. Again, I am naive to the ways of nail-biters, so I entreat you again to share your wisdom.

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imagine alike.

What do you see when you look at this picture?

This is a picture of a house on our way home.

Twelve hours west of here there is a house just like this. My carpool passed this house on our way to elementary school every weekday for five years.

I had the same thought each and every time we passed the house.

In June of 1987 my family moved across the country marking the end of my relationship that facade.

So when Nate and I moved into our current house, I was surprised to discover a house that reminded me of the house that fascinated my early imagination. But not nearly as surprised as the day that Ava called out from the backseat, “Look, Mama, that house has a bunny on it.”

Yes, a bunny. The same bunny I first saw twenty-five years ago.

Do you see it now?

None of the carpool kids ever saw him, and I have since quizzed Nate and other various passengers. The response is generally the same, “Oh, now that you mentioned” or “I don’t think I would have noticed it.”

I didn’t just noticed it, I befriended him. At first Mr. Bricks was just a street-side friend that I would wave to and check in with as I was strapped in the back of station wagon. Eventually I started imagining stories about the people who lived there and the person who had built the house. Was it a memorial to a beloved childhood bunny who had contracted rabies and died a long, painful death or was it an engraving that marked a shrine to all things bunny? Or was the house inhabited solely by a family of rabbits? I mean, really, why else would you outlay your bricks in a hare-like formation?

And now that my mind is preoccupied with pressing matters–like why my soy chai costs fifty cents extra than a milk chai when soy is actually cheaper than milk thanks to the pressing demand of corn for ethanol. And is ethanol really a worthy pursuit? And more importantly, why is anyone feeding corn to cows anyway, they should be eating grass!–the heir to my imagination has resumed my old relationships with inanimate objects.

Ava greets her bunny friend every time she sees him. “Look Mama, the bunny is waving at me. He’s a nice bunny isn’t he?”

Who knew that seeing bunnies in brick chimneys is encrypted in DNA?

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Some friends you grow into and some are passed down to you be your predecessors.

Sammy, Anna, and Michal are these sort of friends.

Sammy is the very likeness of his father, Tim, one of Nate’s favorite childhood buddies. Most of Nate’s school day memories involve Tim, his sidekick brother Titus, and a trusty camcorder. Together they created short films of a caliber yet to be discovered on YouTube.

Twenty-five years before “Wheelbarrow Pusher” and “Neo-Chicken,” made it to the Twenty-Inch Samsung, my dad was taking piano lessons from Tim’s grandma in a little farming community in South Dakota. And when Anna’s grandma went off to college, she took Ava’s great aunt along to be her roommate.

In fact, Anna was supposed to be Ava’s very first roommate. Yes, Ava and Anna were scheduled to be delivered at the same hospital, but Ava’s fickle mama jumped ship at the last minute. I thought that going to an all mid-wife unit would be the perfect place to have an all-natural emergency cesarean. Thus the friends came into the world two days and two miles apart.

So while a windy autumn day filled with wagon races, tree climbing lessons, play house snacks, and sand box treasure hunts adds to the growing bond of friendship, Ava really has no choice to be Anna’s friend–it’s in her DNA.

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The night before last we were driving home from a scrumptious edition of family pizza night. Nate, being the loving and thoughtful husband that he is, decided to fill my car up with gas before we returned home.

As soon as we pulled into the fill station, Ava announced that she needed to go the the potty. It was late, I was tired and bringing a three year old into a public restroom is never my idea of a good time.

I explained to her that we were only a few minutes from home. She began to protest and when Nate got back in the car her protests took on a physical form. As she wiggled from one side of her seat to the other, he assured her that he would race the car home.

As Nate maneuvered the remaining six blocks to our house, Ava begged and cried to go to the potty in every building we past. Her potty dance that had started as a little wiggle had taken the form of a tango restrained only by her safety buckle.

Finally in a fit of desperation she cried, “Mama, I can’t hold it anymore. I’m going to go potty in my car seat.”

“No” I demanded as Nate hit the accelerator, and I turned to coach her on how to hold it for a few more moments. Cleaning her car seat was most definitely not on my list of things to do.

Once home, she hopped all the way to the steps, crying “Oh, oh, oh,” with every bounce.

Nate helped her up the stairs and pointed her to the bathroom, “Okay, Ava can go potty now.”

Ava immediately ceased writhing, rounded her cheeks, and declared, “I was just teasin’!”

Nate and I stared at her in disbelief.

“I was just teasin’,” she giggled, “Isn’t that funny?”

Oh, how her uncles would have been proud.

And she was so proud of herself, her eyes twinkling as she recounted how she had silly she had been to pretend that she had to go potty.

So, yes, we laughed with her and sent her silly self to bed.

Not only is teasing is as natural to members of my family as breathing, but with all the kidding she has endured in the past three years, she was essentially trained to spin a tall tale.

Tomorrow we will begin lessons on the difference between teasing and telling the truth and perhaps the boy who cried wolf, but tonight we will laugh over this expression of her DNA.

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